Cypher Books

Brand Identity & Website Design

Cypher Books is an award-winning New York City–based independent publisher of cutting-edge poetry led by Willie Perdomo. Titles include John Murillo’s Up Jump the Boogie, Suheir Hammad’s Breaking Poems and ZaatarDiva, and Roger Bonair-Agard’s Gully.

As a lover of independent presses and literature in general, I was excited to take on the logo and website redesign. Going into the project, I knew the founders wanted something urban and fresh; something that speaks to the freestyle rapping from which the press takes its name.

I first presented them with a series of logos that build off a circular motion and suggest an urban and Nuyorican vibe. (1) a circle intercepts another circle (each book published adds to the cypher and becomes part of it). (2) A reversal of the C to suggest that Cypher isn’t status quo and pushes boundaries. Concept 2 builds off the C and suggests a forward momentum that doesn’t disrupt. Each book builds and becomes part of the house. Concepts 3, 4, and 6 are closest to the existing logo, but are more refined and contemporary. I chose a oblong circle for 3 to, again, suggest pushing the margins. Concept 5 is the most simplistic, yet bold and strong. Concepts 7 and 8 play with the circular motion in a more subtle way. The C is front and center, and in 8, turned on its side, becomes part of the surrounding circle. These are the most playful of the bunch, yet remain sophisticated.

The website follows the lead of the logo, with a clean, yet stark design that allows the books to stand out.

Cypher Books

A publisher of cutting-edge poetry based in New York City

Art Direction
Website Design

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