Barcelona-based Homeless Fonts turns homeless people's handwriting into fonts that can be sold to businesses for use in branding and advertising. The primary aim of the project: to bring dignity to homeless participants' lives and shine a spotlight on issues related to homelessness.
Loraine Elghobari, creator of the Loraine font, said the project has instilled her with pride, and given her something to call her own.
"Her handwriting has a beautiful rhythm, with clarity and friendliness," Bill Davis, global font product manager at typeface distributor Monotype, told Crave. Monotype recently started selling Homeless Fonts.
The Loraine font, created from the handwriting of 60-year-old Loraine Elghobari. Once a nurse in her home country of England, she traveled to Spain as a tourist five years ago and ended up homeless after having her passport stolen and experiencing other misfortunes.
"I've got this font and it's mine," she told Crave. "It's something that I've done. It belongs to me."
Some fonts, like the Guillermo font, are flowery, while others have a more straightforward quality.
write on a computer a letter with handwritten type is really a stunning
feeling," said Ferran Busquets, director of the Arrels Foundation. "And the
fact that that type is from someone that is usually 'invisible' to
people gives it an extra value."
All the Homeless Fonts are "wonderful and real," said Ferran Busquets, director of the Barcelona-based Arrels Foundation, which came up with the idea for Homeless Fonts with ad agency The Cyranos McCann.
But asked to pick a favorite, "I think I’d choose Gemma," he said. "I’m a father of three kids and her writing its quite tender and ideal for children's books."
Global typeface distributor Monotype has just started selling the Luis Serra font, as well as other fonts created from handwriting the homeless rely on to make signs.
"We're offering the five fonts that were originally created, and our intention
is to work with Arrels to bring more to market," Bill Davis, global font product manager at typeface distributor Monotype, told Crave.
Some of the faces behind the fonts created through Homeless Fonts.
"All the participants of the Homeless Fonts project were homeless, and
they know the importance of being seen like persons and not like
bundles," said Ferran Busquets, director of the Arrels Foundation, which sponsored the project. "What we like most
about this project is that people see there is a person behind each