This Suite of Fonts Was Made From the Handwriting of the Homeless

Going beyond messages on cardboard

Homeless signs have been a font of ideas for creatives, but rarely has the focus been on the fonts themselves.

The Arrels Foundation in Barcelona has created Homelessfonts—typefaces based on the unique handwriting of the homeless people it helps. Each font comes with the story of the person who penned it and their personality. After all, few things are more personal than our handwriting.

The work not only helps fund the foundation, it humanizes the homeless and lets people see them as unique individuals, not as an amorphous problem. The video about the process is moving, but moreover, the fonts are actually good. The glyphs were captured with fat Sharpies on poster board and then transformed by volunteer typographers.

If you are a typographer, you can donate your time and expertise to help create more fonts. If you just like the concept, you can download a free app to use the fonts in social media (be a nice person and make a donation, too). And if you're a brand, you can purchase the fonts and the stories that come with them for professional use at surprisingly affordable prices.

Samples of the scripts as they might appear on packaging are included, so you can see just how beautiful and unique the font—and the people behind them—truly are.