DEFINE Visual Research – Tree Alphabet

As discussed here I have been thinking about how to create more of a link between written language and the natural world, and decided to try and create some letterforms.

Didn’t really know how to go about this but I really like the way the Galapagos font is constructed so I thought I would start by drawing some lines and forms on squares of paper and seeing what I could produce.

I took the shapes from tree branches, as they often have expressive forms that might lend themselves well to this.

The above image shows my attempt. Some of the letterforms are really nice – d, e and f stand out to me – but I don’t really know where to take it next. I think overall it looks more childish than I would like.

More refining or more experimentation? I might put this to one side and come back to it later.

During my tutorial today Stuart suggested doing a lot of experiments finding/making letters in nature, and also using nature to modify. Next step is to get outside and make some stuff (and hope the weather calms down a bit).

Also slightly related is this Irish Tree Alphabet by Katie Holten. She has used Ogham as her starting point, an ‘alphabet’ carved into rock, that is read from top to bottom and mimics the forked branches of trees. In an effort to explore ‘language ecosystems’ she has created a font out of 26 types of tree that can be found in Ireland, exploring the link between the Irish language and the Irish Landscape. Perhaps I should be looking at a more symbolic way of communicating, rather than written.