News / Graphic Design

Michael Bierut designs new brand identity for the Poetry Foundation

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Pentagram Partner Michael Beirut has redesigned the identity for the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. The task was to reimagine the foundation’s brand identity including its logo, print materials and Poetry magazine, with design agency Fuzzy Math leading the redesign of poetryfoundation.org.

Michael and his team have based the identity around the word “poetry”, putting it centre stage on all materials. To create impact, the words has been arranged in a two-by-three letter configuration, set in a multitude of contrasting typefaces to create interesting couplings including: “formal and informal, conventional and radical, bold and delicate, straightforward and fanciful”. This approach hopes to go “right to the heart of what poetry is: always evolving and forever new”.

The type treatment has been applied to all communications materials and sticks to a clean palette of black, white and red, with a bold, sans serif font as the anchor typeface. In a post on the Poetry Foundation website, Michael explains:

“We know that poetry can be many things. It can be simple and complex. It is one of the oldest and one of the most innovative of literary forms. It can provide solace, and it can be profoundly disturbing. And—of particular interest to me as a graphic designer—it is a peculiarly visual art form.

“Even the way the words of a poem are arranged on a page has a profound effect on the way we read them. As a result, poetry has inspired radical experiments in typography for centuries.”

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Michael Beirut: The Poetry Foundation