2024 | Väike-Maarja municipalityEnvironmentalWayfinding


Distinctive signage for one-of-a-kind trees

In Väike-Maarja, a special park lies – Keeletammik (Language Grove, if you will). 

The oaks there aren’t just any oaks, they tell a piece of Estonian cultural history. Over the years, laureates of the F. J. Wiedemann Language Award, such as Ain Kaalep, Mati Hint, Leelo Tungal, and many other esteemed writers and language conoisseurs, have planted trees in the park.

On the 200th anniversary of Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann’s birth, President Arnold Rüütel planted a memorial tree in the park. On the 25th anniversary of the language award, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves did the same.

This one is planted by President Lennart Meri as a laureate of the award.

From a story untold…

For a long time though, the trees remained unmarked. Some had the names of the planters, but there was no comprehensive information, system or signs for the connected park areas.

Velvet’s task was to create an inviting and inspiring solution to change that. The goal was to design signage that would withstand time, be easy to reproduce for adding new laureates, and feel right for the cause – celebrating culture and enriching community space.

Since the tree labels were a combination of metal and wooden plaques designed to resemble bookmarks, the technical support required some experimentation.

Nameplates like bookmarks

For the named trees, we replaced the email signs with new nameplates made of oak and installed fresh information boards.

Trees with sketchlike lines as signposts are delightful companions to the actual oaks, and the bookmark-style nameplates symbolize each laureate’s page and their contribution to our linguistic history.

The result is warm, readable, and hopefully inviting for exploration


  • Piia Tammelo Creative lead
  • Kevin Laus Technical designer
  • Helen Küppas Producer
  • Mikk Mustjõgi Production manager
  • Mart Lankots Account manager


  • Blackriver Woodworks (Jan Mustjõgi) Production
  • Salibar (Märt Potter) Print
  • XOFoto Photographer
  • Väike-Maarja vallavalitsus (Maire Haava) Client