We here at Traveler love a well-made craft (we’ve got an authentic shopping guide to prove it), which is why I was taken with this video made by the folks over at Cool Hunting. They visited the Grafica Fildalga printing facility in São Paulo, Brazil, and interviewed the adorable gentlemen who painstakingly lay out the characters for posters on a 1929 German letterpress. Watching the machine in action is mesmerizing.
What’s even more interesting is that this shop has managed to stay in business even after São Paulo instituted it’s “clean city” campaign back in 2007. At the time, the local government’s decision to eliminate all public advertising — everything from billboards to bus stop ads — was an extension of their aim to combat pollution. The “visual pollution” of such signage completely overwhelmed the city, to the point where one local journalist reported that prior to the cleanup, some fevelas had been practically invisible to the public because billboards had been covering them. The reduction of pollution was seen as a tremendous life-enhancement to city residents (it had a 70 percent approval rating), and now São Paulo is slowly starting to designate areas where advertising can be permitted — in moderation. Grafica Fildalga has been kept afloat in part by the efforts of Choque Cultural, art gallery whose uses these posters to promote their shows. It’s a great bridge between the old and new.