The year was 2008, and I was in my first semester of research on Devanagari typefaces and typography. Sorely disheartened by the lack of any resources in the college library, I set off to all the libraries in Delhi, looking for something that would help.
One afternoon I visited the library at the National Gallery of Modern Art with @ravishamall, and that is where after a lot of unsuccessful scouring, I found a book called Rekha (English Translation: Line). The book was a Lalit Kala Akademi publication, and had been written by master modern painter and sculptor, art historian, and pioneer collector of folk and tribal arts, K. C. Aryan.
Beyond the basic history of Devanagari, and description of the Boru pen, the book had a large collection of lettering. Whether K.C. Aryan did these himself, the book did not say. I remember having a very hard time to convince the librarian to photocopy some pages of the book for me. Even though he grudgingly did so in the end, he did a terrible job with few of them.
Following these was a collection of symbolic/expressive lettering. Here are a few of my favorites:
What made me look at this book all over again today — I was trying to get my gray cells warmed up to write an abstract for next years Typography Day, being held at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Of course, what I ended up doing was posting these images here. Time now to shake off this (longish) blogging break and get back to business!