I stumbled on a fascinating story about how trees turned into book fonts. Katie Holten who is the architect of this project is an Irish artist. Her book About Trees is written in tree font taken from a tree alphabet that she has created. Holten is fascinated by systems and for her “there’s something about trees that’s universal.” Read more about tree fonts in this interview titled Translating Borges Into Trees. It’s a very fresh concept in today’s grid world.
The Trees typeface has roots reaching back to 2004 when I moved to New York City. I was researching our understanding of ‘nature’ and our relationship with it in the city. The first drawing I made was on a small piece of paper, just a normal 8.5” x 11.5” page. It was of a collection of New York street trees. The trees were drawn quite small and it looked kind of like a letter. A love letter? I’m not sure. But it looked like a letter scrawled in a strange language. I made more and the trees fell into a grid, mirroring perhaps the Manhattan street grid. They were my notes telling the story of my time in NYC—the grid walked that day and the street trees passed along the way.