The Pavement magazine along with designer Emily Read have developed a universal set of chalk symbols for the homeless community, creating an analog city guide for navigating the streets.
Founded in 2005, the Pavement is a free magazine published in London and Scotland tailored to the homeless, providing resources and news related to services being offered in their respective area. Understanding the need to deliver information beyond the confines of the publication to a population with virtually no access to mobile technologies, in 2007 the Pavement enlisted the help of designer Emily Read. The end result was the development of a visual code – printed inside each issue – that anyone could use to communicate messages with their fellow community. By leaving simple, chalk symbols on the side of buildings and sidewalks, the ad hoc city guide informs a niche group of users about things like neighborhood safety, places to sleep and the availability of free food. Truly inspiring piece of analog innovation that brings real-time knowledge back to the streets.