The Marine Debris Typeface Project

A study of found local vernacular letterforms and is part of an investigation into Type and Place. An attempt to subvert the relationship between production and waste, with the creation of a working font through the chance discovery of marine litter. The found type highlights the need to design out waste and calls for design to play a more integral role in the circular economy.

The relationship between these found objects and their (our) environment is inseparable, yet if issues of their impact are to be communicated to a new audience, separation is exactly what is needed, a new approach reacting against the cliché of folk-art environmentalism. The twenty six letters work not only as a graphic notation of language, but also as a comment on the environmental challenge of disposable manufacturing


Collect marine debris from one beach until you find (shapes that resemble) all 26 letters of the alphabet. Document what you find.

How many pieces of Marine Debris will I need to pick up on Wherrytown Beach before I find the 26 letters of the alphabet?

Wherrytown Beach, pieces collected: 2041


• Pick up any piece of marine debris that is smaller than an A4 sheet of paper.
• No bottles, cans, plastic bags, crisp packets or chocolate wrappers.
• No manipulation of the objects.
• Stop collecting when I have all 26 letters.
• Document all that I find.

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