Typography Day 2011/Designing Type

Most presentations at Typography Day 2011 belonged to one of these  four tracks – type design; type and graphic design education; structural and three-dimensional typography; and revival and reform of scripts.

This post focuses on talks from the first track.

The Crash Course
Young Vision Speaker and co-founder of Indian Type Foundry, Satya Rajpurohit gave a crash course on type design in his talk. He introduced the word ‘HONDA’ to the audience – a word with vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, as well as rectangles, triangles, circles and semi-circles. With that as a starting point, he discussed optical adjustments required in a typeface. Seen here is his slide about finding the correct thickness of the horizontal bar in the ‘H’ and then placing it at the optical center of the letter.

He then moved on to discuss how a typeface family with many scripts can be harmonized. He did so by sharing images of Indian Type Foundry’s super family Kohinoor


A Brand New Script
Erin and Pradnya both presented their trysts with designing a typeface for a script, which was completely unfamiliar to them when they began. I have always wondered whether a non-native writer and speaker is really capable of designing a typeface in that script, and never really reached a decision, but it was great to see two people who had made their decision and worked very hard to make their typefaces see the day of light.

Seen here, their calligraphy practice – Erin’s on the left, and Pradnya’s on the right; and their typefaces, once again in the same order.


The Birth of a Typeface
The last of these type design talks was by Hashim P. M., who shared all his Malayalam typefaces with the audience, and broke down the life of a typeface into three distinct stages – conception, execution and release. I regret not taking enough notes or clicking any photographs, but by the time Hashim’s presentation was in full swing, I was too busy learning how to write Malayalam from Varghese, and seeing how far I could play around with the first letter in the Malayalam alphabet, before mutilating it completely. This has become a habit that I’ve found impossible to shake off, ever since I attended this workshop a couple of years ago 🙂


Other posts I have written about Typography Day 2011 can be found here and here.

Comments 3

  1. Prateek March 27, 2011


    Also, interesting tidbit I found out about last December: Wikipedia content in Malayalam outpaces that in any other Indian language by close to 90%. Much of this was attributed to the relatively high availability of typefaces and language tools for Malayalam.

  2. Pingback: Typography Day 2011/In Three Dimensions | Its a Nerd's Life!

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