Nick Adam
Naming and visual brand identity for Copi: rebranding an invasive fish as a healthy seafood option

Design Studio



Tetra Tech
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Southern Illinois University (SIU)


Civic, Government, Academic

Naming, Branding, Print, Research, Interactive, Motion, Packaging


Nick Adam
Concept, Design Direction, Design, Naming

Bud Rodecker
Design Direction, Naming

Cheryl Kao

Avery Branen

Valeria Bernal

Leah Wendzinski

Suzie Shin

Darcy Nathanson

John Pobojewski
Design Direction, Animation, Sound Design

Zach Minnich
Project Partners

Donna Speigel
Strategy, Voice Guidelines, Copywriting, Naming

Lyndon Valicenti, Daylight
Design Research

Alex Roper

M. Harris & Co
Launch Strategy
Documentary Film
Event Execution
The Great Lakes are in danger of catastrophic impact from an invasive fish widely referred to as ‘Asian carp’. Several species of carp brought from Asia by fish farmers in the 1970s to reduce nuisance vegetation in commercial ponds escaped into the Mississippi River, the second-longest river in North America. Several stopgap measures — such as billions spent on barriers to prevent the carps from spreading further — have been implemented, but Asian carp still threatens the Great Lakes. If the carps aren’t stopped, the fish will severely damage the already vulnerable ecosystem.

Water and Environmental engineering firm, Tetra Tech (commissioned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Southern Illinois University) hired Span to reposition the fish for human consumption. ‘Asian carp’ — made up of 4 species of carp — are in fact low in contaminant levels and compare well with other popular fish in terms of purity. They also happen to be some of the most loved fish in cuisines around the world.

Span’s solution was to rename the fish Copi (derived from copious), rendered with a friendly, recognizable logotype and distinct identity system. The Copi rebrand — along with the tagline Eat well. Do good. — reintroduces these carps (which are in fact a clean, top-feeding fish rich in protein and fatty acids that are eaten all over the world) to the public as a healthy, delicious, and responsible seafood option that also helps solve an environmental crisis.

Copi will become synonymous with a responsible lifestyle and a healthier planet, attracting aware citizens, responsible consumers and modern adapters of new ideas — supply chains, chefs, retailers, consumers.

Simple and fun, the Copi logo contains a not-so-secret message. The forward-facing fish is created using the negative space within the ‘c’ and letter-space reserved for the ‘o.’ The fish centers vertically within the geometric letterforms inspired by the Futura Black typeface. The stencil form balances hard-working, utilitarian aesthetics with a playful feeling through its assembly of simple semi-circles, triangles, and rectangles. This stencil approach allows each letter to be its maximum weight. The heaviness of the logo aligns with the physical qualities of these fish that can weigh over 100 pounds, reach five feet in length, and each lay over a million eggs per year.

Silver Anvil Award Silver Anvil Award for Excellence

Anthem Awards for Sustainability, Environment & Climate

Nick Adam, Design Director 
and Associate Partner at Span.Studio

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