We love your streets

Recently, I posted an interview with type designer Verena Gerlach in which she laments the disappearance of shop signage & lettering (sources she’d used to design FF Karbid). Shops change hands, old signs are taken down or painted over and, in the process, numerous examples of wonderful lettering are forever lost. And that got me to thinking about their ‘digital’ preservation. As a keen user of Instagram, I see hundreds of great photos of signage and lettering, many of them geotagged.

I mentioned this idea to Kari, and, in no time at all, he produced WLT World.

With Google’s Street View and an accurate geotag, you can see exactly where the photo was snapped.

So, get tagging and geotagging. Tag your photos of lettering and signage with #wlt or #welovetype and ensure you have geotagging enabled, so that they can be mapped.

We won’t automatically import all tagged photos — that ensures we don’t end up with hundreds of photos of Taylor Swift, often tagged #WLT (We Love Taylor).

Perhaps some day, with enough photos, we could produce curated vernacular ‘type’ tours, whizzing around the streets, learning more about the type and lettering that surrounds us. We might even make an app for that.

Visit WLT World.


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  1. Matthew Solle

    Worth mentioning if it hasn’t been mentioned before, London Typographica doing something similar for London signage with a recently released app http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ldntypo/id472643840

  2. johno

    Matthew:
    Hadn’t seen that. Thanks.

  3. Matthew Solle

    Np

    Antony Harrington talked about it at Typo London http://typolondon.com/index.php?node_id=5.49&lang_id=1

  4. There’s a kickstarter project about to launch based in the US with a similar theme.
    http://kck.st/xIf4Uo

  5. M. Hartt

    Uh… The HighBall is in Austin, Texas, not the middle of the Gulf of Guinea.

    But I like the idea for WLT World, even if the geotagging is a “bit” off.

  6. johno

    M. Hartt

    A temporary glitch. Fixed now.

  7. Anamika

    Great idea! In Bengal, we have been doing this for a long time, and you can check some of our documentations here: blog.rarh.in

  8. It does look wonderful, intuitive and something we can use on daily bases. I haven’t had a chance to do so previously may be folks like Anamika been doing for a while now.

  9. thanks for share this post

  10. I really like the idea of the app. Agree about t.swift and the zoo that may follow. good luck with the collection though.

  11. London Typographica is getting some great submissions of found type around London, so thanks to all of you participating. The loss of those beautiful examples of public lettering and type in London pains me, and the idea behind London Typographica was to start documenting where these examples are, before they all disappear!

    The added advantage is that it enables us to see how type is changing, like ephemeral examples such as graffiti.

    Thanks Matthew for the links to the app, and the website.

  12. God I love this idea!

  13. shubho

    wow! a really good initiative.

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