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7 things you should know about Earth’s alphabet shapes


e love Kickstarter. We are obsessed about typography. We live on Earth. We think Carl Sagan is the greatest astronomer of all species. We are more than happy that our favorite typographic project on Kickstarter is actually being funded already but on this economy, sky is the limit. So be prepared for Aerial Bold because the first map and typeface of Earth is on it’s way and yes, you can have your very own earthly letter because..., well, at last you can. “We will find Earth’s alphabet shapes and make a new font and dataset for you” says the duo behind Aerial Bold. These are seven more things to know about Aerial Bold, Earth’s true-and-only-alphabet.


1. It takes a two-man army to map our aerial typographic views

Benedikt Groß, a German speculative designer, and Joey Lee, an American geographer, teamed up in 2012 and together made the Big Atlas of LA Pools - a collection of 74 books cataloging all of the pools in Los Angeles. 

“We were surprised by how much data we could generate and became more and more fascinated with the process of mapping features from aerial imagery”.  


2. We dont know what we inhabit

Discovering the world from above is a task of great proportions for Benedikt and Joey. “Contrary to popular belief, much of the world has not been mapped. While nearly the entire earth has been photographed from space, there are still gaps in what features are embedded in those images. Only by processing, filtering, drawing onto them, and semantically enriching these images can we understand what features exist in that space. Whether it is done through manual labor or automated through computer vision, there are still many things left to map in the world” they add while searching for what Earth really looks like from above.


3. Kickstarting is the way to go

Any creative mind, any project, any graphic designer, any typophile, any scientist with an idea has Kickstarter on his side. “As a followup to the Big Atlas of LA Pools, we decided to scale up our efforts”. To “read the landscape”, this is how they define their new task. “We are now embarking on a journey to find letterforms in the earth’s surface. Using Kickstarter to generate funding support, we will attempt to build the first map and typeface of the earth by developing a set of unique image processing algorithms and tools which can be accessed by supporting the project.”


4. The typography of Earth will be an amazing typeface obviously

It is a call to inspiration and a tool for creation or, to put it briefly, the following 33 words sum up why we like the Aerial Bold typographic project. “Along with making a fun project that will result in a usable typeface for your favorite word processor we will provide a huge amount of data for people to use in their typographic/geographic/art.” Sounds great.


5. We are not alone

Joey and Benedikt are not referring to some alien life-form. They are talking about the typography of our lovely Big Blue Dot. The quest to find letterforms in geography has been a fascination shared by many different people for many years. Projects such as Laura Devendorf’s “AnyType”, Amandine Alessandra & Rute Nieto Ferreira’s “The Big Letter Hunt” and Louise Dib’s “WorldType”  are testaments to people’s interest finding familiar shapes in space. Carl Sagan would be so proud of them.


6. This is their mojo

“What makes Aerial Bold unique is the attempt to make an extensive, global catalog of these letterforms as well as develop a set of automated tools to do so.”


7. We support here.