National Park typeface

National Park Service typeface

Johnston Falls sign Fast Company: If you’ve ever been to a National Park, chances are you’ve come across signage with the same distinctive lettering. The type, which features rounded edges carved into wood in all caps, has become an icon of the National Parks system.

[Jeremy] Shellhorn, who was on sabbatical from his current job as an associate professor of design at the University of Kansas, was redesigning the park’s newspaper and wanted to include the type found on National Park signs. But he soon discovered there was no digital typeface because the letters are simply formed with a CNC router in the park’s sign shop, chiseled into wood. The shape of the letters were determined by the size of the router bit.

Router path

It doesn’t really exist as a typeface unless a sign is made.

National Park typeface alphabet

Available for anyone to download for free, the typeface comes in four weights: light, regular, heavy, and outline.

See also

Craft and creativity

A typeface designed to mimic the National Park Service signs that are carved using a router bit

Since Shellhorn published the typeface in summer 2018, it’s been downloaded by people in all 50 states and in several other countries. Next, he hopes to assign students to create a series of dingbats to go along with the typeface.

Gallery

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