How many Devanagari letters can you recognize?

Last afternoon while writing for Aahsome Magazine (more on that soon once I finish it tonight!), I remembered this questionnaire. I had made it back in college during my research project on Devanagari script and type design. I took it around my college and neighborhood asking everyone to take the quiz. It was the best conversation starter and recognizing the letters became a matter of pride for most people. My grandmother’s friends actually took all the extra questionnaires to use as a game during their next party!

How many incomplete Devanagari letters can you recognize?

I’m going to assume that you did well in the quiz and recognized all the letters, and share with you some of the typographic delights that came my way the past week 🙂

Woven Lettering I was flipping through Aditi and M.P. Ranjan‘s book Handmade in India when I came across this image –

This is a contemporary silk sari made with resist dyeing. According to the description in the book, the calligraphic forms in the design are stutis or hymns to God.

Sanskrit Swayam Shikshak Last week when her folks were in town, Vidisha photographed this super-interesting book cover for me. The book is her Dad’s and I so wish that I had a copy for myself. The cover is wonderful, and I wouldn’t mind brushing up my Sanskrit either!

Varghese’s Poster – Amma Varghese‘s poster titled ‘Amma’ was selected as one of the top twenty entries for the poster competition held by Typography Day 2011. One should be able to see a large print of the poster at the venue. I cannot wait!

The lettering in the poster is in Malayalam, Varghese’s mother tongue, and this is what he has to say about the idea behind it,

I’m most comfortable talking in my mother tongue – Malayalam. It is what comes most naturally to me, and what endears me to my family, my home and my land. I found that a song used in an ad by Malayalam Manorama publications echoed the same thought. e song gives one’s language the status of the mother. I have used the letters “അ” (pronounced “a”) and “മ്മ” (pronounced “m:a” ) from the Malayalam script to create the form of a mother and a child. When “അ” and “മ്മ” come together they form the word “അമ്മ” (pronounced “amma”)- which means mother in Malayalam. Since, now I live far away from Kerala I was deeply touched by the words of the song, and truly understood how language plays a part in preserving my memories of home and homeland.

Fontest And finally, I present to you, FontestA developer and typography tool that helps you quickly preview how your favorite fonts are rendered on Android. The app has been developed by my brother Prateek, Pratul and a bunch of their friends. Since I don’t own an Android phone, I haven’t been able to see or test it, but I’m sure the app will be quite nifty.

The app is free, and you can download it from here. This is what it looks like:

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