A Capital A.
Rare-Form’s objective was to offer moments of visual silence while celebrating the power and the beauty of letterforms. In an act of info-reduction, signage from Illinois primaries was removed from public spaces to be repurposed as canvases. Violating the one-color graphics with hand-lettering substituted the multiple messages once held by the sign for a much simpler one.
Human history began with the innovation of writing. Applying symbols to surface provides the infrastructure towards lasting, accurately transmitted thoughts, messages, and memories. While the recorded past of our forefathers has allowed culture to develop and evolve, it is with this success that contemporary life has become congested with informational messages. 
Encountering 5,000–20,000 informational messages per day average Americans live in a perpetual state of sensory overload, ill-effecting their space and time. These two elements are the foremost important factors we base our experience on. Each sadly has limited quantities for which an over abundance is inappropriately utilized, thus negatively impacting the human condition.
This project served as a moment to deliver and celebrate something simple while reducing complex messages and the congested visual landscape. The slab-serif letters are a custom alphabet created for this project. Each was freestyled with brush in hand using one-shot enamel.
Nick Adam
Sign-painter's Enamel on Found Coro-plast Signage
Permanent Collection
Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago — Permanent Collection
Typeforce, Co-Prosperity Sphere
Curators — Edward Marszewski and Dawn Hancock
Friday, February 26, 2010 was the Typeforce opening. on the left of this image is some really good work by Chad Kouri. Photo from Luke Williams
Photo by Kyle LaMere.
Photo from Luke Williams.
Photo by Kyle LaMere.
Photo from Luke Williams.
Photo by Kyle LaMere.
The piece in the foreground is Tnop's propaganda series. Photo from Luke Williams.
The full alphabet hanging in the Typeforce Exhibit. Photo from I Shoot Rockstars.
Photo from Luke Williams.
The full alphabet of Rare Form.
Artist: Nick Adam
Materials: Sign-painter's Enamel on Found Coroplast Signage
Permanent Collection
Museum: Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago — Permanent Collection
Show: Typefore
Curators: Edward Marszewski and Dawn Hancock
Gallery: Co-Prosperity Sphere
Project Process
A penciled in margin was created with measured tick-marks to guide the placement of serifs.
After the serifs and terminals are painted, stems and bars are added to complete each character.
After the Typeforce exhibition, Rare Form was acquired and permanently installed in 3st Studio. Also on display inside Thirst are rare and unique work by Ed Fella, Paul Rand, Paul Sahre, Frank Gehry, April Greiman, Mike Perry, Dennis Ichiyama, Jason Pickleman, Marian Bantjes, Sonnenzimer, to name but a few.
This project began as an experiment in form and placement, yielding hundreds of variations city-wide public installations. 

Displayed individually as well in groupings, we are privy to observe each character outside of its common codependent context of conveying a message. Sans-statement, these letters will not judge your lifestyle, ask you for help, nor will they tell you where to be. Simply these symbols exemplify the power and capabilities of our human kind.
Back to Top