Small Press Traffic

a semicolon with a green bottom and a yellow top, made to look like a dandelion.

On the Dandelion

At the outset of our project to reimagine the visual identity and website of Small Press Traffic — a project that spanned from spring into the fall — SPT’s Director Syd Staiti shared a descriptive scene with us to help render the ambient character of the organization: “lots of standing on the sidewalk talking in clusters before and after the events.” Having witnessed the warmth of these conversations ourselves, we now sat with this scene in our minds and saw in the background, growing through the margins of the sidewalk, dandelions; in full bloom, going to seed, and dispersing on the clothing and shoelaces of those attending the event. We imagined these seeds traveling with attendees, germinating and proliferating from event to event and throughout the community. This vision reminded us of adrienne maree brown’s testament to the dandelion:

dandelions don’t know whether they are a weed or a brilliance. but each seed can create a field of dandelions. we are invited to be that prolific. and to return fertility to the soil around us.
The dandelion, with all of its resilience, lives quietly at the edges of SPT’s new identity. We dispersed a dandelion seed within the letterforms “s” “p” “t” in the typeface used for all event titles and announcements across the website, so that they will continue to travel from gathering to gathering. We altered the semi-colon of the font Shree-Devanagari to punctuate the SPT logo across the site, alluding to the organization never being reducible to anything less than everything its ecosystem supports. And lastly, we developed a series of scattered illustrations of the dandelion in various states of going-to-seed to serve as visual containers for information across the organization's homepage.

As the identity and visual nature of SPT continues to develop and evolve, we’ll look to the dandelion for further models of being. As brown describes, “dandelions spread not only themselves but their community structure, manifesting their essential qualities [...] The resilience of these life forms is that they evolve while maintaining core practices that ensure their survival.” We hope for SPT’s visual identity to feel and function this way, for the continuous propagation of the Bay Area’s poetic communities to be seen and felt for their resilience, persistence, and for their reciprocal beauty.

Seeds in soil,