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On the streets of Kinshasa


Unicef Italia asked Vertigo Design to take care of the layout and be the production assistants for quite a special book: one which describes the lives of children living in the streets of Kinshasa, thanks to two “field workers” who went there to research the dangers facing these children.


Simple drawings – almost scribbles – were sketched with a pen on a notepad. These help outline the history of Congo.

The title pages of each chapter (on the right) are different to the other pages because of their black painted background.

During their visit to Congo, these photographers were able to snap some beautiful photos, which are more effective than a thousand words in showing what Kinshasa is really like.

Before describing the lives of these street children, we wanted to allow the reader to understand how the city was structured. We therefore designed an easy-to-read map which divides the city into districts

Physical contact and gestures of Driss’s Gang.

The gang leader, Driss.

Marie shows off different kinds of hairstyles.

Street children let themselves be seen in front of a camera lens only once the photographers had gained their trust.

Simple pen drawings were also used to illustrate the various fact sheets that add information to the children’s tales.