Nick Adam
Lettering and object design for Rick Valicenti’s Earn Urn

Design Studio


Rick Valicenti

Cultural, Design

Brand Identity, Print, Campaign, Interactive


Rick Valicenti
Design Direction

Nick Adam
Design Direction

Angie West, Sara Ramirez, Nick Moyer, Allyson Reza, Aaron Wolf-Boze, Liam Hoy, Amanda Patenaude, West Supply

Huang Li and Jia Huang
3D Rendering

Jonathan Allen
After 31 years (1988 – 2019), designer Rick Valicenti began his third chapter of practice. On the eve of this occasion Rick engaged Nick Adam to collaborate on the design of his eternal resting place. Through a process based on researching the global history of burial markings, conversations about the desires in afterlife, and an exchanging of sketches that studied possible vessel forms we landed on a set of eyes that stares back at would-be mourners while reflecting their pressence. By doing so, this object embraces the age-old concept of memento mori by reminding the living of their pending death. This too can be seen in Mia Lyn’s Vietnam memorial and skull-marked granite headstones by the like of John Stevens in 17th and 18th century New England.

The two objects were designed to hold what remains when one passes. In this case, Rick’s summary of wealth and one’s ashes is much like the Egyptian belief of creating a sarcophagus that holds both the bodily remains and items of financial wealth.
The custom typography Nick Adam follow the 18th century and prior traditions of expressive letterforms that were used to celebrate the life and passing of the deceased.

Formally respond in a fluid manner to the eye-shape contour. The letterform style is psychedelic inspired offering a transcendence feeling of escape.

In an infomercial (hosted on Rick describes the objects as: ‘The perfect gift of the ideal resting place for that special someone you love. The Earn orb is a stunning symbol of wealth management. The Urn orb is the ideal way to look back on the love you lost and keep them forever in your home.’

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

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