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The People's Typography: A Social Semiotic analysis explores the relationship between a specific visual dialect generated in South African informal settlements ('township typography') and mainstream cultural production, specifically the field of South African print advertising. This study starts with the premise that 'township typography' is a complex visual dialect generated by various economic and historical factors within the South African landscape. These factors translate into the adoption of specific tools, application methods and set of skills when producing letterforms in the South African informal settlement - making 'township typography' a unique dialect, that can be distinguished from letterforms found within mainstream graphic design. Due to the social origin of this dialect, and it's distinct appearance 'township typography' has the capacity to evoke and appeal to specific social, cultural and demographic structures in South African society. The People's Typography: A Social Semiotic Analysis reveals a process by which these features are drawn into South African print advertising as the result of a complex process of incorporation and institutional consecration.

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