ISSN : 2266-6060



Public lettering, to use Petrucci‘s term, has been an essential element of the graphic ecology of cities for a very long time. Actually, they are crucial parts of the city itself, of what dwelling together in an organized, politicized, place means. They are at the core of the shaping of the scripto-polis. When we think about them, analyze them, or just look at them, we mostly associate them with power, sturdiness, durability, in one word: monumentality. Because they are institutional, they can be understood as an instrument of control and discipline, which displays names and « mots d’ordre » that perform a certain kind of public space, a specific atmosphere (political, commercial…) But, this is only a side of these huge impressive words that populate urban settings. Their strength and their power draws on very ordinary operations that literally maintain them, some daily work thanks to which wear and rust are fought again and again. This is trivial. We know that. But we simply do not notice it. We hardly see the little humans who regularly appear next to (sometimes even hanged to) this gigantic « A » or that massive exclamation point and take care of it.

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