“City letters” — is a project about the history of Odessa. The history is dwelt upon through versatile city inscriptions, signs, boards, street navigation elements, advertising, posters, etc.
You can learn the language of visual communication of the city and its inhabitants through these inscriptions. You can observe numerous changes of its regulations.
You can learn about the changes in the cultural level and generally about the quality of life in Odessa through them. A vast amount of theatrical posters, adverts and boards ruled in Odessa in the beginning of the previous century; as well as the cinema boards claimed it’s rights later with the night clubs and their boards having reigned in the beginning of the 2000s. A typical supermarket is now situated in the very heart of Odessa occupying the place of Daimler’s shop. Nothing has arisen in the place of Ford’s garages.
This project is, of course, about the city looks as well. Odessa used to have different periods of existence, still preserving its bright and recognizable look. Tsars, Revolutions, Romanian invasion, Soviet epoch, the bright dawn of the 20th century, Ukrainian independence were those periods. The elements of the city typography were the participants of these events. It seems Odessa is now influenced by gaudiness and overindulgence. Historical signs and boards are (mysteriously?) disappearing from facades and the city look is now changing extremely fast and irregular, to my mind. Therefore, preserving their history seems one of the most important tasks.
Of course, this project is about beauty. More of a thousand of illustrated typography objects look beautiful and help us imagine how the city may look if cleared from the gaudiness.