Castan: A Typeface Carved out of Wood

Whenever the blahs start to hit, I find that I have to put in the extra effort to find things that motivate and inspire me. During my internet wanderings yesterday, I came across this project by Carter Wong Design, a London-based firm, and it was so neat that it made me pause. I think this beautiful, handcrafted typeface project will give you a bit of a boost today, too.

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To create a specialized font for the small clothing company, howies, the creatives at Carter Wong Design decided that they wanted to put their hands to work. After all, creating a typeface digitally wasn’t going to do it for the nature inclined client. The firm created this typographical treat by carving the letters out of a Welsh chestnut tree, which they explain was “windfallen.” In other words, they didn’t cut down a tree just for this project. (howies is an organic clothing line, so they held true to those roots). The resulting wood grained, rustic looking font is called “Castan,” which, fittingly, means chestnut.

As if its creation isn’t neat enough, they also documented the process in this beautiful bit of storytelling. Take the two minutes and watch the video–it’s very interesting to see Castan’s creation and the final product (they did digitized the typeface).


Do you love typography? Learn even more about how to create typefaces for web or print with the Typography Collection. This includes an onDemand webcast, the Type Idea Index that provides more than 650 examples of typography, and more.