The Arrels foundation, in partnership with the advertising agency The Cyranos McCann, presents Homelessfonts.org, the first website to let you buy fonts created by homeless people. This initiative aims to bring some dignity to the life of homeless people and raise awareness of this issue, which affects more and more people.
“Homelessfonts.org was set up as a ground-breaking scheme which joins the artistic side with social commitment. It is a creative way to raise and transform the popular view of the issue of homeless people,” stated the director of the Arrels foundation, Ferran Busquets. Thus, the typefaces homeless people use to make themselves visible in the street become a powerful awareness-raising tool.
The idea is that individuals and companies can buy these different fonts through the Homelessfonts.org website and use them in different spheres, such as their social networks and corporate identity, whether for advertising, stationery or packaging, etc.
In different workshops, participants did various typographic exercises which were then scanned and converted into usable fonts through the cooperation of design experts and professionals. These fonts are available on the Homelessfonts.org site, where users can also find out about their creators’ stories and see the uses made of them. So far about ten homeless people have taken part in the scheme.
“I never thought my typeface could be worth anything,” says Loraine, one of the participants in the scheme. “Thanks to this project, I’ve discovered that my writing is nice enough for a brand like Valonga to take an interest in it and use it on their products.”
“All the brands and designers who choose to use typefaces from Homelessfonts.org will have a quality seal identifying the project and so demonstrating their social commitment,” states Marta Grasa, account manager at the agency The Cyranos McCann. In this respect, the Homelessfonts.org project has also been supported by the Oxígeno production company, which has made a documentary about the scheme, and by designers and experts who have given up their time and skills on a voluntary basis.
The funds collected through Homelessfonts.org will be used to finance the work of the Arrels foundation for homeless people in Barcelona. In 2013, Arrels worked with 1,354 people, 436 of whom actually sleep in the street. The foundation supports homeless people on their way to independence, by offering accommodation, food and social and health care. There are currently about 3,000 homeless people in Barcelona, 900 of whom actually live in the street.