The goal of this project was to reimagine an identity system for the Poetry Foundation. The Poetry Foundation currently has an amazing identity mark designed by Pentagram, so this project was meant to exercise my skills in identity design. I began by going to the Poetry Foundation to conduct some research and I ended by designing a dynamic mark, stationary, magazine covers, and more.
Since I began by designing the identity mark, the design of the mark was definitely the most challenging. I conducted a lot of research about the foundation so it was very difficult to decide which aspects of my research I wanted to include in the design. The Poetry Foundation is known for their beautiful magazines. The title on the magazine covers currently follow the layout of the standard identity mark, but the type changes with each issue. I thought the dynamic quality of the magazines was definitely something that I wanted to include in my identity system design. Once I finally had the design of the mark down, it became challenging to figure out how I would use the mark cohesively throughout the rest of the system. Essentially, I needed to create a system where the elements were united but not repetitive.
In my research I found that poetry allows the writer to construct a new language through various elements such as rhyme, line length, and rhythm. Poetry is also able to be interpreted in different ways and evokes unique emotions in every individual. This information led me to a study that mentioned that humans have six basic emotions – sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust. I became inspired by these basic emotions so I decided to create my own language in a sense. I designed a word mark that was constructed from basic line strokes abstracted from the facial expressions these basic emotions create. I wanted the pieces that make up each letter to be able to be broken apart and altered to invoke a variety of new emotions.
I moved away from the letters in "poetry" and decided to make a full typeface so that I could utilize the design not only for the identity mark. As I mentioned, I really wanted the design to be dynamic and adjustable so I decided to break down the shapes in the typeface into their simplest form again, and use those elements to create backgrounds and unique compositions.
I began designing with a rich neutral blue color to be the standard for the identity. I didn't want the design to become boring, so I thought it would be great to incorporate a variety of colors for the posters, magazines, and pieces were the content would be changing quite frequently. I really thought this allowed for the mood to really shift with each poet, event, or content that was featured. Overall, I had fun creating a typeface and simply using that typeface to create a full identity system.