Forest for the Trees is a public mural project based in the Pacific Northwest with the goal of engaging the community in the process of art-making. In the summer of 2013, various contemporary artists from around the globe visited Portland to collaborate with local artists for one week. Over the course of this week, the entire creative process was shared with the creative community and the entirety of Portland as outdoor murals emerged around the city.
Taken from the old adage “can’t see the forest for the trees” this project intends to broaden appreciation for the creativity that surrounds us. When working with this project, we had the unique opportunity to not only work together with the event’s coordinators to establish a brand identity, but also to collaborate with a number of the visiting artists on mural painting. We were honored to have the ability to participate in the week long festival.

For the brand development of the event, we strived to put a great deal of emphasis on the meticulous craft that so speaks to the artists who left their mark on the city. To perfect our work, we traveled to the woods with Gage Hamilton, the founder of the project, to carve the FFTT Script into a northwest tree. You can see more about this process at our blog, here.

To help the event garner public support, the Hellion Gallery in downtown Portland hosted a pop-up shop to fundraise with contributions from Danner, Bridge & Burn, Tanner Goods, Maak Lab and more. To see our collaboration with Ebbets Field Flannels and then some, check out the story, here.

Forest For The Trees is also a collaboration to the POW! WOW! HAWAII event in Honolulu. Contributors and artists from the incredible Hawaii events, including one of the lead directors Kamea Hadar, who played a big role in helping Portland get our feet on the ground to launch the first annual Forest for the Trees.

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As the festival progressed, we also had the chance to paint some walls. One wall was a collaboration between Zach, LA-based Madsteez and our pal Gage; the second with local artist Blaine Fontana and Tokyo’s Jun Inoue. Check out some of the painting progress here.
All of the artists’ process was beautifully catalogued by the public and the artists’ own observances with the hashtag #ffttnw, check it out here.



After the festival came to a close, the talented folks at Empire Green Creative shot and produced a small documentary about the mural creation process, which you can see here. They did an incredible job showcasing the event, and especially the artwork itself. Enjoy, and check out the rest of their work here!

FFTTNW was a brilliant project for the city of Portland. The murals were a fun addition to the city’s vibrant art community, and we’re looking forward to next year.
We’re proud of having contributed to the event’s development and execution, and (perhaps even more so) of the great new friendships we made along the way.