Nick Adam


  • Rare Form


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 the average American lives 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.

Rare-Form’s objective was to offer moments of visual silence while celebrating the power and the beauty of typography. In an act of info-reduction signage from Illinois’s 2010 primaries was removed from public spaces to be repurposed as canvases. Violating the one-color graphics with hand lettered type substituted the multiple messages once held by the sign for a much simpler one. The slab-serif letters are a custom alphabet created for this project. Each was freestyled with brush in one-shot enamel.

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.


Nick Adam is a Chicago-based designer/artist known for his custom hand-lettering, street photography, as well his graphic design contributions within the former Upset magazine artist collective. This work is all managed outside of his traditional position of Art Director at one of America’s premier publishing companies. Nine-to-five and often past five he is part of a four-man department undertaking brand creation/management, catalogs, retail packaging, POP, and marketing/sales collateral. This work is found internationally at major retailers across the literature, toy, food, health, and automotive markets. Prior to publishing Nick designed for Chicago’s largest independent entertainment corporation. With over thirty concept properties across Chicago, he helped build and maintained the visual presence for steak-houses, internationally renown nightclubs, pizza parlors, rock clubs, and Irish pubs. As a life-long student of the world, Nick strives to learn through celebrating diversity in life and in projects. Successfully working on many projects in a vast array of markets is not only his strength but what fulfills him.

The cornerstone to all of Nick Adam’s work is conceptual thought towards problem solving. It is by successfully communicating messages to a targeted audience that he believes design and art is capable of helping the world and making everyone’s lives slightly easier. His approach to visual communication is based on utilizing strategic planning coupled with analysis. With this combination of art and science he renders not just visually stimulating solutions, but the utmost important accountability towards the client/goal.


Enamel on corrugated plastic
Dimensions variable