design find / Fileteado


Holy moly is Buenos Aires beautiful! I have been enjoying the city for 4 days now and my mind is so full of brand new culture. The art I’ve been seeing is such a treasure. None of it has been in a gallery either. Art is force that runs (in my opinion) the best part of this city. One art form that I’ve noticed over and over again is called ‘fileteado.’


Fileteado is a style of hand drawn signs. These signs are highly stylized and ornate. Like so many things in Buenos Aires, this trade was brought over by immigrating Europeans. It didn’t take long for it to adapt it’s own local distinctions. Signature motifs include a border with organic plant-like moving lines, symmetry and dynamic detailed letterforms that either advertise a product, convey poetry or humor.


From my understanding, this style of signage was everywhere until the mid-century when it fell a bit out of favor. Today, it can still be seen in traditional areas of the city as well as bistros and markets. I have also been told that art form has recently been making a come back. High five for that!


The designer in me has loved seeing this type of signage all over town. I couldn’t help but to draw something that celebrates what I’ve been seeing but with a side of honesty. Yikes, guys. I know like zero Spanish and every time I speak with someone all that comes out of my mouth is a hybrid of all the parts of other languages I know that do not include Spanish. So, to everyone I have spoken to in Buenos Aires so far, SORRY!

That is one thing that you can always count on while traveling to a new place, is that it is humbling.

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