Sep 24, 2010

Slum Sans


Photo of some slum typography.

It's been nearly six months since I spent time in the Mathare Valley Slums located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. My emotions are still raw when I think about that experience and it usually makes my eyes water.

At this time the post production of the documentary is in full swing and in good creative hands as well.

A common site in the slums is hand drawn typography used on signs. They are everywhere you look. For an upcoming collaborative project with Rule 29 I wanted to mimic this aesthetic so we could use it for titling in our project.


Slum Sans on light background.

As you've seen in previous posts the slums continue to be source of inspiration for me.


Slum Sans on dark background.

I drew out the whole set by hand pretty small so it wouldn't be crisp. Then I created a rough highlight you could add to the type to give it some pop. I even used a slum texture to degrade the letterforms as well.


Slum Sans complete set.

The whole set is just a simple vector file with the letterforms on one layer and the highlights on another. So you just compile what you need to create the word.


Slum Sans detailing.

I optimized the texturing as much as I could without loosing that nice authentic feel. The source file in the download below is a CS2 Adobe Illustrator file.

Update: A big thank you goes out to Brian Carroll who took my raw vector files and not only created a working font but also created the missing letter "I" that some how I over looked in the process? Brian is a multi-talented creative who is part of Studio Litchfield so check out their site.

Download Links

- Slum Sans - Vector Art (1.9MB)
- Slum Sans Font (217KB)

If you find this resource useful please consider donating to the work of Life in Abundance who works in African slums helping people improve their lives. Donate here. Thanks.

4 comments:

Janee said...

Great work on the font. And even greater work for your cause. Thank you.

Mauricio Cosío said...

Looks great, Von!!

Reminds me a bit of the style on the newest typography McDonald's did last spring for their boxes and cups.

I'd love to see an international version of this, my friend.

Best regards!

Furman said...

Love the font work, something I am terrible at!

Kasper Villum said...

Nice font.

But I kinda miss the letter "I" :-)