I like type
As a chap who likes type, I’ve put together an ever growing collection of typography in beautiful disrepair from the back streets of Andalucia to crumbly blue houses in Morocco, via murky olde London. I’m always on the look out for typography that is vernacular and occasionally spectacular, documenting beautiful old letters and signage before they disappear. Through my photographs I want to provide inspiration for designers, sign-writers and photographers to keep these wonderful old letterforms alive.
It looks nice in other languages too
I’ve been travelling to a Andalucia in southern Spain, for quite a while now (my wife is from there). In this part of the world most of the signage has been clinging to the same wall for decades, rusting in the rain and fading in the heat – once you factor in the bright and harsh Andalucian light, these broken letters look amazing and every crumbly detail looks crisp and clear. In many cases, the walls have crumbled and painted letters have faded on them, like old frescoes. So what were originally planned as functional, possibly mundane, everyday objects, are transformed into something special.
In Chefchaouen, up in the Rif mountains of Morocco, I discovered lots of old water hydrants, which used arabic, but had stenciled english numbers on top. This is a bit of an odd town, with every building painted blue – when you factor in this rich colour and distressed metal work, it creates a happy typographic accident.
Type is quite popular globally
So, this summer I finally got round to getting a site together with galleries of images which has found some kindred spirits globally. It’s since been featured across the pond by Chicago agency Coudal Partners, UnderConsideration in Texas, and over in Europe in Greece and the Czech Republic. As for the importance of old signage… I think I’m not alone in loving old signage and documenting beautifully crafted letters before they get replaced – its vitally important that these interesting bits of social history are documented before they vanish.
All images © 2014 Stephen ONeill All rights reserved. All images contained on this site are copyright of Stephen ONeill and may not be downloaded or used without express permission for any purpose whatsoever.