About a month ago, my wife and I moved to a house in the country. One of the perks of moving out of the city was gaining more elbow room. Our new property abounds in plants and trees, with a back yard that rolls gently downhill to a stream. We still have neighbors, but they’re far enough away that our new place feels luxuriously private. And so we’ve enjoyed taking walks together in what feels like our own little park.
Having just moved, however, we still have a good deal of unpacking and organizing to do, not to mention all the surprises one has with a new home that needs immediate attention. Combine that with working full time, trying to sell the old house, pets, family, errands, and all the rest that life demands, and little time is left for indulging in creative pursuits (outside of Cassel Bear).
On one of our 5-minute walks, I snapped a photo with my phone of an old clothesline pole. As a designer, my mind immediately made the association that it looked like a capital T. I wondered what other “letters” I might find around the property. Perhaps I’d found a quick and easy creative outlet that could fit into my new chaotic routine?
Clothesline Pole and Centrifuge Light
“Found letter” photography is a popular hobby, as shown in these examples. Most people try to complete an alphabet, and there are numerous online sites that will output your typed-in message into found letter images.
Basket of Kindling and Futura Medium
But back to my pondering in the back yard: as I walked around looking for other subjects, it dawned on me that I could take things a step further. What if I downloaded the photo to my computer and tried to find a matching font? A chance snapshot had just led to the start of a simple but fun design challenge.
Spruce with Bodoni 72 Bold
The next time you’re out for a walk and have your phone handy, try to find some letters in everyday objects around you. It’s more than just a design game. Looking closer will give you a new perspective on the environment around you. Take inspiration from all of the details, shapes, textures, and colors you’ll discover.
Wheelbarrow with Cyclone
For myself, I might try to complete an alphabet. After that, numerals? Punctuation? Maybe I should unpack a few boxes first.