Tony de Marco Reveals An Ad-less São Paulo


Font 005 Web ExtraIn Font 006, Tony de Marco clears away the clutter to reveal São Paulo’s ban on advertising. His photographs tell the story of what remained earlier this year when Brazil’s economic capital enacted new “clean city” legislation that outlawed all forms of outdoor advertising.

Here are some of de Marco’s remarkable shots that couldn’t make it into the print version of Font 006. See more in his personal gallery.

São Paulo by Tony de Marco

São Paulo by Tony de Marco

São Paulo by Tony de Marco

São Paulo by Tony de Marco

São Paulo by Tony de Marco


  1. It is true that São Paulo is Brasil’s largest city, but that does _not_ make it the capital. This is still Brasília.

    Posted by Ronald Kyrmse on Aug. 2, 2007
  2. Amen. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

    Posted by Textwrapper... on Aug. 5, 2007
  3. Right you are, Ronald. I left out the word “economic”. Thanks for the correction.

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Aug. 10, 2007
  4. I never thought something like this could/would ever happen. I’m a big advocate of the quiet space. My respect and praise to Sao Paulo! Let it be a model for future cities.

    Posted by Luis on Aug. 14, 2007
  5. Banning all outdoor signage may refresh the urban landscape but what about the visual blight of the remaining infrastructure? It may make for interesting photographs, both on a formal and conceptual level, however it isn’t always the case that outdoor signage is detrimental to the visual culture of a city. The spectacle of New York City’s Times Square and Tokyo’s Roppongi district at night are examples. And what about all of the designers and businesses that are harmed or put out of business by the ban? Wouldn’t it have been better to regulate the signage, perhaps by employing a committee of designers, architects and other concerned citizens to review proposed signage.

    Posted by newpathdesign on Oct. 4, 2007
  6. Newpathdesign partially agree with you. The case of Sao Paulo is particular. It was really caothic situation. Many mayors tried to regulate the bussiness with no results (maybe no will as well). I think it’s too early to say, the city is still adapting to the new legislation. I guess the idea was, let’s clean up this mess and after that we create other exemption instruments for some determined areas, as done in New York or Tokio. I hope it goes this way!

    Posted by Gabriel on Dec. 22, 2007

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