All over the world, there are hand painted and hand crafted signs and lettering that cover the walls and streets of every city. Those are my favorite examples of analogue graphic design.
Vernacular Typography is a project dedicated to the documentation and preservation of vanishing examples of lettering in the everyday environment. It seeks to explore and protect the typographic environment in cities around the world that have retained their rich local traditions of (mostly analogue) vernacular signage.
Typography is an important form of urban communication, both because of its beauty, and also because it can relate directly to the place and time in which it was made. Uncovering lettering can be like discovering a lost civilization on an archeological dig.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve assembled a growing visual archive of these vanishing examples of vernacular lettering and streetscape elements on the website VernacularTypography.com, which now has over 4,000 images of found typography from countries all over the world, including: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, England, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States.
Although Vernacular Typography documents both digital and analogue typography in both digital and analogue formats, the handwritten, drawn, and painted examples, taken with my trusty LC-A and other film cameras are definitely my favorite.
Every day, incredible pieces of analogue typography and signage are being erased and replaced by standardized and digital signs. Vernacular Typography hopes to preserve as many analogue signs as possible before they are erased forever.
Read more or donate to the project on the Vernacular Typography websites!