NYC is planting secret messages in parks using this typeface for trees #ArtTuesday
All you need is the code to crack them, and it’s free to download thanks to the artist Katie Holten, Via FastCoDesign!
Linden. Oak. Virginia pine. Elm. Side-by-side, they might look like four random trees. But if you speak the tree language of the New York City, you know these trees spell something else. Linden. Oak. Virginia pine. Elm. Love.
The Tree Alphabet (which you can download free) was developed by Katie Holten, one of the first recipients of an artist-in-residency with NYC Parks, which tasks artists to explore “the intersection of art, urban ecology, sustainability, nature, and design.”
It would be fair to say that Holten is at least a little obsessed with turning trees into typefaces. Back in 2015, she developed her first so-called Tree Alphabet, made up of sketches of 26 different trees that each stood for its own letter. The project led her to publish a book, About Trees, typed in forests rather than paragraphs. “I’m interested in creating something that lets us translate our words into something beyond us,” writes Holten over email. “It forces us to slow down and think about what we’re writing, or reading.”
Try it out yourself! I tested it by writing out Adafruit in tree typeface which you can see below!
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