Text by Valentin Abend and Rebecca Gerny

Climate Words isn’t a bank or tech start-up. Developing a corporate logo didn’t feel right. Our work focuses on words, so we developed a typeface called Stampa with Kasper-Florio instead. Its etymology comes from the word stamp, as in impress or mark; to create an impression, an idea or an opinion of what someone or something is like. We are stamping public impressions of climate words, informed by the technical knowledge, wisdom, and lived experience of experts on the frontlines.

Accomplished Thistle Crop

So, no logo? Interested in symbols and associations, we set up a call with an illustration artist – Martin Groch, a Slovakian designer based in Brussels, Belgium. We asked him to draw what emerged as we spoke about our motivations for increasing climate literacy. During the conversation, we pulled a book of symbols from the shelf, and soon found ourselves enamored with the thistle. Instead of a logo, we developed a series of illustrations around this endearing, botanical character. 

We are fascinated by the deep, tangled and nutrient-transporting web of a thistle’s roots. Often causing dismay for orderly gardeners, thistles are almost impossible to get rid of. The dense stalk is stiff, supporting its spiky leaves. It’s tough. We resonate with this resilience. Thistles offer a habitat to shelter small creatures below. Above, their beautiful crown is a beacon to pollinators, offering nourishment and respite. They spread quickly into new territory and are often the first plant to grow after a disaster. Known as the healers of soil, thistles restore and prepare the land for future growth. 

Reflective Thistle Crop

This is our story too. Our lexicon aims to root climate action in the wisdom of those doing the work, offering education and community to the next generation of climate solutionists. Our work is often in the weeds, parsing through the muddy misinformation to create simple and clear definitions. Like the thistle, we welcome everyone into our protective web of climate information, inspiring prickly, resilient optimism and a launching pad for climate action.