Howies, a long-standing client of Carter Wong, approached the consultancy with a brief to create a new headline font. Howies says it wanted ‘a typeface that would give us a point of difference and a level of ownership greater than Helvetica could ever offer.’
In keeping with Howies’ rugged, hard-wearing a low-impact ethos, Carter Wong decided to create the typeface using a wind-fallen chestnut tree from near the clothing brand’s base in Cardigan, West Wales.
Letterforms were created in Carter Wong’s London studio and taken to the Seymour Prior sawmill in Aberystwyth. Here, they were cut into sections of the chestnut tree, which was then sanded and burned to create printing blocks.
This resulted in the new font, called Castan – Welsh for chestnut.
Howies says, ‘Complete with woodgrain and cracks, Carter Wong has given us a distinctive hand-chiselled typeface, which captures beautifully our slightly wonky character and soul.’
The typeface was created by Carter Wong creative director Phil Carter, working with designers Martyn Garrod and Chris Bounds. Photography is by Josh Exell and font programming by Richard Dawson.