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Typefaces based in lettering found in the streets from Chile

Tipografia.cl is a site devoted to chilean typography and the typographers collective formed by Francisco Gálvez, Rodrigo Ramírez, Tono Rojas y Kote Soto. I met the site due to the project TUP Tipografías Urbano Populares by Luis Rojas H. and José Soto B. which consisted on creating digital typefaces starting from hand-crafted custom lettering in the streets of Chile.

The site for the project TUP Tipografías Urbano Populares (Popular Urban Typefaces) features the typefaces and the resource where they came from. It’s a very interesting exploration of the posibilities of transforming custom lettering done by someone who probably didn’t had a formal education as a graphic designer, but nevertheless draw letters with a intense function and a interesting form as well. The resulting typeface is quite interesting, as you can see on the sample below that belongs to the “PAPAS” (potatoes) typeface.

You can see more on the TUP sample pdf. While I was seeing these typefaces I remembered the Gerrit Noordzij’s  description of typography as “writing with prefabricated letters”, I think these fonts are a perfect example.  You can download the nine fonts that were created for the project in the site for the Popular Urban Typography project.

Make sure you also check their current typeface work, it’s very interesting and some of their fonts, like Grafito (Graphite) below, follows the Noordzij thesis in heart and soul (or form and function)

Do you agree with Gerrit Noordzij that typography is writing with prefabricated letters? it is for me and I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.

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