Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 2, 2012.

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Vernacular Typography is a design and photography project that documents and maps disappearing examples of found lettering.

Vernacular Typography is a digital archive and community-based initiative dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and promotion of vanishing examples of lettering in the everyday environment. It seeks to explore, protect, and support the typographic environment in cities around the world that retain their rich traditions of vernacular signage.

All over the world, beautiful examples of vernacular lettering are in danger of being replaced by disposable signs that represent large global corporations.

Typography is a powerful marker of regional identity and has a remarkable ability to capture the local character of a particular time and place.

Unfortunately, in some places globalization has all but erased the local typographic heritage. Cities that once had a unique typescape now look like they could be anywhere in the world.

For the past 10 years, I've been photographing environmental lettering and organizing the images by place and category on VernacularTypography.com. Right now the website has over 5,000 images of urban typography from 10 different countries, including Argentina, The Bahamas, Chile, Cuba, England, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the US.

The goal of the project is to gather as many images of endangered local signage before it disappears altogether; create an archive to document and share those images; and work to revive the tradition of creating new, original lettering in the built environment.

Donations to Vernacular Typography will go towards website overhaul and upkeep, updating equipment, documenting new cities, and supporting artists creating original material for the project.

For more info visit:

Vernacular Typography
Vernacular Typography blog


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All supporters will be thanked on the Vernacular Typography website.

Please add $8 for international shipping.


Vernacular Typography is also a fiscally sponsored project of Artspire, a Program of New York Foundation for the Arts 501(c)(3). If you'd like to receive a tax-deduction instead of hard goods, you can make a donation through the Artspire website.

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