Spare Change News
Spare Change News is a bimonthly publication based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their mission is to show that the homeless and economically disadvantaged are capable of creating change in society. It is the nation’s oldest street paper, founded in 1992 by a group of homeless vendors backed by the Homeless Empowerment Project. All content is generated by locals — journalism students, interns, volunteers, even vendors themselves.
Our solution was based on the concept of “community” — specifically using the typography to empower homeless community. The re-design displays personality through handwritten type customized each week by a a featured vendor and reflects their relationship with the locals.
The non-profit newspaper not only provides jobs to the local homeless community, but inspires them to produce content working towards a unified goal: taking steps for creating social change.
Our mission was to take these ideas and maximize potential by creating a newspaper that promotes communication across demographics, embedding a sense of humanity into the process of purchasing a street paper from your local vendor.
Design: Kevin Chao, Johnny Lee, Michelle Wang
*Winner of the D&AD New Blood In-Book Award*
*Winner of the D&AD New Blood Yellow Pencil*
Typeface inspired by the Church in Cambridge, MA, a community access point and the location of Spare Change News Headquarters.
The logo lockup is customized each week by the handwriting of the featured vendor. This emphasizes the concept of personality and humanity in a very personable transaction—the sale of a street paper.
The paper uses a 2-tone risograph process to maximize cost-efficiency for a newspaper with such a small budget. Handwritten type is used as an element of hierarchy throughout the paper, with personalized anecdotes, pull-quotes, annotations, etc.
Each release features one of the 50+ vendors with an extensive profile, bringing the focus of the paper back into the people behind it, opposed to the standard news from any other local paper.