Arial, Times New Roman ... and now the 'Hugo Chavez' font

CARACAS, July 28 Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:59pm EDT

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CARACAS, July 28 (Reuters) - Supporters of Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez on Monday unveiled yet another novel way of keeping his memory alive - a font for typing in "El Comandante's" handwriting style.

The distinctive 'ChavezPro' font was launched by a group of young "anti-imperialists" to coincide with nationwide commemorations of the 60th anniversary of his birth.

Chavez's bold scrawl became famous to Venezuelans as he used to spend hours on national TV writing and drawing on boards and papers to explain policies, develop ideas and sign deals.

His signature, in red for socialist, adorns T-shirts, baseball caps and the walls of buildings around the nation.

The new font can be downloaded for free from the "Creative Trench" group's web site (www.trincheracreativa.com).

They used letters written by Chavez while he was in jail for a failed 1992 coup attempt to digitalize his handwriting.

"The best present!" enthused one 'Chavista' via Twitter. "The typography of the giant!"

Government opponents roll their eyes at the deification of Chavez, and his ubiquitous presence in public life. They see it as a cover for the failings of his successor Nicolas Maduro who was elected after Chavez died of cancer last year.

Images of Chavez's eyes, face and clenched fist are stencilled and reproduced all over Venezuela. Recordings of his voice also thunder out at government rallies, singing the national anthem or exhorting the people: "You are all Chavez!"

Fireworks at midnight marked the beginning of Monday's commemorations being led by Maduro with some foreign leaders in tow prior to a summit of South American bloc Mercosur. (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by David Gregorio)

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