Video: São Paulo’s Grafica Fidalga Letterpress

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.

[Via Craft and Cool Hunting]


  1. Ebtesam
    Cairo, Egypt
    December 3, 2012, 6:19 am

    it’s amazing . I need many data about this town but I cannot reach it ! would you help me please?
    thank you !

  2. Palm Tree
    July 10, 2010, 4:30 pm

    What a great article about the Clean city. I think 1 April is the day of São Paulo’s re-birth as a Clean City.

  3. Jonas Henrique Cardoso
    June 19, 2009, 9:35 am

    Janelle, let me just correct you, the right word is “Favela”. I live in a small town in Pernambuco called Porto de Galinhas, next to a big city named Recife. I think they should do the same with advertising here.. Great article.

  4. jen laceda
    April 27, 2009, 3:02 pm

    I think that’s pretty amazing!