A Spanish NGO and an advertising agency have teamed up to create typefaces based on the handwriting of homeless people. The handwritten carboard signs that help desperate people to beg on the street may be the very thing that helps them leave it.

Samples of handwriting are photographed and cleaned up in a studio and then transformed into commercially available fonts.

Individuals and companies can buy the different fonts through Homelessfonts.org. The proceeds will be used to finance the work of the Arrels foundation for homeless people in Barcelona.

homelss fonts Francisco
Francisco holds a cardboard sign reading: 'We all need a little help sometimes.'homelessfonts / Arrels
homelss fonts photographing
A sample of handwriting is photographed in the studio.homelessfonts / Arrels
homeless fonts cleaning up
A sample of handwriting is cleaned up before it is converted into a font.homelessfonts / Arrels
homeless fonts
Individuals and companies can buy the different fonts through Homelessfonts.orghomelessfonts / Arrels
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Loraine looks at Valonga products which use her handwriting font.homelessfonts / Arrels

 "I never thought my typeface could be worth anything," said 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."

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.

homeless carboard signs
homelessfonts / Arrels
miguel
Miquel said: "A girl once had a graphologist look at my writing. She said it was the writing of a madman and a genius."homelessfonts / Arrels
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Portraits of three of the participants in the homelessfonts.org project: Luis, Gemma and Francisco.homelessfonts / Arrels

The project is assisted by The Cyranos McCann advertising agency and is 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.