Buy a Font, Help the Homeless [Video]


Handwritten typefaces have their own unique energy and charm. The vigor you feel in the passionate strokes, the gravitas of bold lines and bars, the solitude or coziness in the kerning, and even the fragile and delicate sincerity in fine stems and arms — all these are just some of the things that make handwritten fonts so primal and commanding in our choice of design.

The good people of Arrels Foundation have teamed up with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann to bring you, the very first website of its kind that lets you buy handwritten fonts created by homeless people.

FontIndividuals and companies may choose to purchase licenses either for personal or commercial use. These fonts may also be used on social media, in corporate identity and branding as on stationery, advertising, and packaging. Proceeds from the purchases will go to funding efforts to help get the artists back on their feet in terms of accomodation, food, health care, and more. This not only raises awareness for the plight of the homeless, but also is an excellent way to bring back dignity into their lives.

Loraine holds a bottle of Valonga olive oil, which the company used the font she created for its packaging.

“I never thought my typeface would be worth anything,” Loraine, one of the font creators, shares. “Thanks to this project, I’ve learned my handwriting is nice enough for a brand like Valonga to take interest in and use it on their products.”

The artists underwent workshops that had them do typographical exercises to bring out the unique lustre and personality of their handwriting. Together with a team of professionals and creatives, these pieces were then scanned and digitally processed to turn them into usable, purchasable font. So far, ten people have participated in the project, and Arrels Foundation hopes to turn more homeless folk into typographical artists in the future.


Truly, this unique project combines art with social commitment. The typeface that the homeless use on cardboard signs to make themselves visible on the street is now a powerful tool that raises awareness.

Watch the video here:

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