Shawn Hazen is not a Chicago type, but he does love Chicago type — as in typefaces. A graphic designer from California, Hazen moved to the Windy City four years ago and fell for the infinite assortment of exterior fonts — the "unique visual heritage," as he puts it. "I can't help but snap pictures of all the old, cool or quirky type," he writes on his website. "I literally can't got out to get a haircut or a hot dog without having to make a stop to shoot some funky sign."
Speaking of websites, Hazen has an online archive for his findings. But he also shared a few of his favorites — with commentary about what makes the subtly rounded corners of a "simple sans" so special. Warning: This gallery contains nerdiness not suitable for all ages.