A LOOK ON THE CITY
AND ON THE WORDS SHE SAYS
Signs, inscriptions and street plaques guide us silently along the streets with a wealth of unexpected shapes and colors, which needs time to be appreciated. The project collects letters and numbers from public streets, in a photo album with historical and artistic relevance. But the project does not stop there, offering a formal review of some letterings, redesigned and compared to similar typefaces.
THE FIRST STEP
There are many letters that silently guide us along streets, maybe handmade by a craftsman or designed a long time ago, but too often unnoticed. Lettering da is born from the observation of urban typographic elements visible in public spaces, to create a photographic memory of alphabetic signs and to focus on their design, mirror of the historical period in which they were made.
The project started in 2012 on Facebook with Lettering da Torino, founded by Silvia Virgillo. Its aim was to be a unique and easily recognizable project, different from the other merely photographic archives on the web: it alternates the photographic shoots with a 'type focus', a small insight that highlights the formal appearance of each single letter, which is digitally redrawn and compared to existing typefaces. All the complete type focuses can be seen on Facebook.
This brings to a preparatory analysis and a good starting point for what will be a future achievement: to design new complete typefaces inspired by urban letterings, those handmade or derived from non-digitized alphabets.
Since its birth in Torino, Lettering da was thought to became a format applicable to other Italian cities, thanks to a logo with a variable typographic element: the city's initial.
And here we are!
Each city has a different curator, born or resident in it; all of them have a graphic education and a strong passion for type design, so that the part of the redesigned lettering can be afforded.
The scenery of Italian urban lettering is so wide that allows Lettering da to be constantly growing, with a lot of cities waiting to show their typographic beauty. The goal is to make citizens aware of the treasures they always walked alongside that deserve a little bit of our time to be really seen and appreciated.
We are passionately working on this!