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Often they don’t talk much, all of their stories fit on a piece of cardboard. But Massachusetts-based artists Kenji Nakayama and Christopher Hope prove those stories are worth exploring. Their project, called “Signs for the Homeless”, started in 2012: the artists would buy the signs of the homeless people for $10 and give them back some really cool and vibrant typographic pieces of art.

The aim of this project is to raise awareness about the poverty and help the panhandlers to better express their needs. You can see in the before and after shots that new hand-crafted colorful signs are all about clarity and capturing attention. In exchange, the artists explored each homeless person’s back-story, asking questions about their current state and how they got there.

The project, however, has received some criticism, saying that the new stylish signs may have people doubt the seriousness of the situation of the homeless. True, the signs look a bit like ads, and you might think that they are representing some eccentric campaign, but once you read the stories, all those doubts are cleared. Quite a powerful way to draw attention!

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