POETRY MAGAZINE COVER



Client: Poetry Foundation
Studio: Span, Thirst
Design Direction: Nick Adam

Scope: Cover Design, Cusom Lettering
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest magazine devoted to verse in the English language. In 2019, Poetry’s Art Director Fred Sasaki reached out to Nick Adam to design a custom typographic cover.

For centuries, poetry has inspired experiments in typography. The manner in which a poem is visually composed affects how the poem is read — the underlying structure of words inflects emphasis and meaning. The structure of letters themself are a product of form-poetry, they carry their own unique set of spacial relationships and visual codes.

Nick designed a series of 3 covers for Poetry to consider publishing. The letterforms of the selected one (published in February 2020) were directly built within Poetry’s grid defined by Michael Bierut. Nick took Poetry’s distinctive two-by-three unit grid and divided each of the 6-units into square units. Nick’s new grid within Bierut’s existing system was used to define each letterform by following a simple set of mathematics:

Vertical strokes = 4 units
Vertical counter space = 2 units
Horizontal strokes = 9 units
Horizontal counter space = 1 unit


The designed letterforms can be described as rhythmic, reverse-stress, extended, blocky-slab-serifs.

From left to right: Nick Adam of Span, Normal Studio, Julien Priez, Jeremiah Chiu of Some All None, Michael Bierut of Pentagram

LET’S WORK TOGETHER

REACH OUT: NICK@SPAN.STUDIO


This website incudes the curriculum vitae and a portfolio of projects Nick Adam lead, directed, and/or designed.
Much of the work was collaboratively designed in the internationally-awarded design studios of Span, Thrist, and Firebelly.
Some of these projects are personal explorations and some can be found in the permentant collection of museusms.


︎ ENJOY THE DAY ︎ COPYRIGHT 2024 NICK ADAM ︎