Brasilien Report 2010


This is my first report from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’ve been here for three weeks now.  It should give you a glimpse into the visual language of one of the wordl’s most multicultural cities.

Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest City and the world’s 7th largest metropolitan area. It is considered the country’s financial and cultural center. With an estimated population of 11 mio (18 mil. SP metropolitan area), Sao Paulo is the most populous City in the americas.
It is also the most ethnically diverse city of Brazil. The city’s population is mainly composed of italian ( who, in the 20ties made up 50 percent of it’s male population), portuguese, german, swiss, japanese, jewish and  syrian immigrants. nowadays, the city has a growing community of other latin american countries. There is a lot to know about this vast city but for me its most interesting part is its diversity of culture – and food. Paulistas, as inhabitans of Sao Paulo are called (People from Rio are Cariocas) love to eat, talk and drink. The variety of restaurant is endless and you can find a lanchonette (bar/restaurant) on almost every corner.

Our morningview from the 14th floor.


The City’s Logo is derived from its shape on the map. And can be found all over town in various forms:

What else can be found all of the city is one sort of typeface in its various forms.
Its a Thin-Modernist-Art Deco kind of thing. Due to its various forms, copies and sloppy ways it is put up the rather cool and elegant fonts produces a warmth which is quite charming

Another typographically or rather calligraphically interesting thing are the often handletterd signs and posters. I am currently working on two displayfonts influenced by these discoveries: Edifcio and Refrigerante.

The most beautiful posters, in my opinion, are  the so calles lambe-lambes produced by grafica fidalga. The small workshop run by three elderly letterpress enthusiasts who print the posters for choque cultural, a gallery specialized on streetart in its various forms. Even after cidade limp the posters were allowed to be hung up. Watch the video below to fall in love with them.

Cidade Limpa
Since 2007 a law called “lei cidade limpa” bans all advertisements from the urban area due to visual pollution. read an article (“A city without ads”) and a good interview about it on

There are two big movements. On the one side you have colorful character driven graffiti in its various forms – the most famous artists are “os games” who’s characters throw ups and tags can be found all over town. Other big names are nunca, onesto, zezao, highgraff and pato.

No Crossing

On the other side you have brazilians very own dirty style of tagging called pixacao ( pee-sha-zu-o ). They both coexist without any attempt of battle. There is no such thing as crossing someone else’s tag.
Pixacaos are considered as ugly and to protect their walls being sprayed with a pixacao owners let other graffiti artists paint them. Another strategy is hanging up sign who tell “grafiteros” not to paint tier walls because they give money to cancer research centers. I like their style of lettering – and the destruction.

Here are some random pictures and discoveries:

"Linke Seite Friedhof - Rechte Seite Krankenhaus"

Their was a path for the blind and the information written with braille – but you were't allowed to touch the sculptures ...

This sculpture reminded me of one of my favourite movies ... ( behind the SKULPTUR you can see Lilli minha travelcompanhera )

"Boa Forma" – plastic surgery is so big here there exists a magazin about it

Toilet Paper


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2 Responses to “Brasilien Report 2010”

  1. totalstranger Says:

    i remember a very famous lanchoneta in sp called bom bom. is it still there?

  2. othmar Says:

    Hi benni, lilli,
    freut mich zu sehn das es euch gut geht !

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