You are here

Hand lettering proves the best way to whisper the voices of Vancouver


project around Vancouver provides both inspiration and motivation. Whispers Project worked with local writers and writing groups to install typographic murals, as part of the Vancouver 125. Isolated words on walls of the city gain new context from their surroundings and speak for more than a single author. Whispers developed a language which is driven neither by capital nor dissent, drawing on the finality of commercial hand-lettering and the immediacy of graffiti, exploring the human experience in this urban landscape. Writing has been selected for this project in a series of workshops during the past and applied in a number of locations around the city as murals. People collected their voices as content for the murals, and various writers and artists joined their forces in the writing process.

The Whispers were designed to reference the scale and style of commercial hand-lettering, but intended to communicate creative content instead of the commercial sales pitch. Enabled by barriers of economy and policy, the medium of advertising appears to have monopolized the realm of large-scale public communication. Despite the term "public space" being commonly accepted as equating a sort of commons of the people, most of the physical property in a city is either privately owned, or highly regulated. While plenty of space has been made available for voices willing to pay (namely advertisers), the simple expression of an individual without economic means is rendered illegal.

The typeface used for the Whispers was designed specifically for the project to follow the aesthetics of historical commercial type, including the quirks and irregularities found in many hand painted signs.