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The National Parks ‘font’ has finally been digitized

The iconic typeface is the product of sign shop chiseling gear.

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VW Pics via Getty Images

Fonts are as synonymous with a brand as a logo, and these days every kind of company and organization (and some cities) have a design they call their own. Even America's National Parks have their own distinct lettering, found on wooden signs throughout parks across the country. But it wasn't until 2013 it became apparent that the iconic font isn't an actual typeface at all -- instead, it's simply the product of the chiseling gear found in the National Park sign shop. Now, the design has been digitized for others to use.

Designer Jeremy Shellhorn made the discovery when he was working in-residence at the Rocky Mountain National Park in 2013. Now working as associate professor of design at the University of Kansas, he and his students used simple rubbings to create a digital National Park typeface in light, regular, heavy and outline weights. It's available for free under the SIL Open Font License, and has already been downloaded by people across all 50 states and in other countries, and a set of accompanying dingbats are set to follow soon.

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