A font created in the streets for SP Invisível

For everything, there was a first time. Thousands of years ago, while a human was making a clay jug, he decided to draw something in the clay with his finger. It had no apparent use. It wouldn’t make it hold a larger volume of water, for example. So why did he do it, then? Anthropologists’ response echoes to this day. That mark made with the finger in the clay says, “I exist, and I am here”.

When we take the actual handwriting of people living on the streets, expand them, and give them prominence — this is Adriana’s ‘A’, this is Kleyton’s ‘B’, Daniel’s ‘C’ — we are through design carrying out SP Invisível’s mission, which is to transform the reality of the streets by shedding light on people’s stories.

FutureBrand’s invitation to participate in this story filled us with pride. It’s not usual to generate a positive impact through our direct work, designing letterforms. In fact, we didn’t draw anything. From the beginning, our main concern was to guarantee the authenticity of the result. It needed to be real life, without adjustments or filters. This principle guided the entire process, including the choice of materials: popular construction brushes and acrylic paint on cardboard.

With the SP Invisível and the FutureBrand teams, we visited two shelters, where we learned the stories of dozens of people. We prepared carefully crafted sentence suggestions to get samples of all the letters, and trusted the process. And it was beautiful. And it was real life. Some did not follow our guidelines (thankfully) and we were gifted with lovely surprises, such as drawings of houses, hands, and hearts, which were transformed into emojis in the digital font.

Portuguese has 26 letters, but this font has 107 (not counting the diacritics). Just among the vowels ‘A’ and ‘E’, there are 15 different designs. The result is a font with a strong personal identity, in the most literal and diverse sense of the words.

Fabio Haag Type: Fabio Haag, Ana Laydner, Henrique Beier and Eduilson Coan; FutureBrand: Felipe Luz (Creative Direction), Amanda Oliveira, Gianlucca Segato, Victor Cruz and João Jeveaux (Design), Vinícius Cambruzzi and Gabrielle Rufato (Verbal Identity), Francisco Fernandes and Higor Santos (Animation), Marina Rufino, Gabriel Daher, Isabella Concilio and Larissa Hesz (Strategy), Rodrigo Alarcon, Hellen Aquino, Isabela Leandro, Gerson Lima and João Neto (Digital), Thaís Slomp and Andressa Bliska​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (Account).

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Custom fonts materialize brand strategies, carry their individual personality and DNA into every written word. Let’s talk?