Published on 31st May 2012
Like most graphic designers, VSA’s designer Alana McCrossin loves typography and she’s always on the lookout for new and unusual typefaces.
Over the last couple of years she’s been collecting photos of hand-painted signs taken by our volunteers and storing them in a folder on her computer called “Typography from the field”.
“I really like how quirky the signs are, and that they are so laboriously painted onto buildings and shop fronts that are often old or crumbling down,” she says.
Alana was sure the photos would come in handy one day – and she was right. Hand-painted lettering from six of the signs feature in VSA’s 50th anniversary photo exhibition, Windows to Another World, which opens in Wellington on 6 June.
Alana has used the lettering to create the display fonts for the main headings in the exhibition – including a font created from the lettering in the Tanzanian sign pictured above.
Getting the hand-painted lettering into a usable form was a time-consuming process. Alana enlarged the letters from the photographs, printed them out, then redrew them by hand, either by painting them freehand or by making stencils. She then scanned them back into her computer to create a set of unique fonts.
You can see the results of Alana’s hard work at the exhibition, which is being held in four cities during June and July.
This article first appeared in the May 2012 issue of VSA's magazine Vista.