In 2015 we were given the task of rebranding Futurepoem. The editorial board told us to avoid a ‘logo solution’. There was a consensus among the staff that a fixed mark would be antithetical to the open nature of the organization. Our proposal was a mutable logotype in which the letters appeared in unpredictable arrangements: On a button, the word Futurepoem flexes into the shape of a circle, a tote bag reshapes it into a square, while the homepage of the site becomes a surface of randomly dancing configurations. In each application the word Futurepoem responds to the thing it appears on; we created an identity which tries to speak to the instability of language and meaning.
In 2012 we started designing book covers for Futurepoem. The organization has a rotating panel of editors who find emerging and underrepresented poets. With each cover we try to encapsulate the diversity of this writing, interpreting the specific voice of the author rather than relating the design to the rest of Futurepoem line-up. Heterogeneity is central to the mission of the press, so we try to reflect that in the designs we produce for them. The only fixed element is the cover size of 6 × 8 inches.
Often the brief we receive is a kind of poetry in itself. This is a fraction of Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s Solaris inspired brief:
We are on earth, and yet the blue luminous sun looms overhead with intense charge, saturating the field of view with a heavy aquamarine hue. Tree forms in the background are more coral-like and aquatic in appearance than traditionally arboreal, though. In the foreground—a closeup of a human hand that has trails of spectral glass dripping from out of its palm while concatenations of the fingerprints echo off the fingertips like coronal syncopations. The glass shards could be transforming into other figures just before they fall from view—a seahorse, a curled, sleeping dog, the outline of a child standing alone, a comet, star. And overtop everything, perhaps a very pale outline of a turning nebula.
And this is some appropriated text Samantha Giles used to explain her concept:
If I am an extension of this world then I am an extension of garbage, shit, pesticides, bombed and smoldering cities, microchips, cyber, astral and biological pollution, BUT ALSO the beauty of a patch of unspoiled sand, all that croaks from the mud, talons on the cliff that take rock and silt so seriously flying over the spectacle for a closer examination is nothing short of necessary. The most idle looking pebble will suddenly match any hunger, any rage. Suddenly, and will be realized at no other speed than suddenly.
—CA Conrad, (Soma)tic Midge