Category: Language

Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s mixed-script branding

A few weeks ago Rahul pointed me to the mixed-script logo for the latest edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The style of the Latin letters, which have already been a part of the art festival’s branding repertoire, has been extended to Devanagari and Malayalam; and the three scripts are used together to spell out the festival’s name. When I saw […]

Devanagari to Bharati Braille Converter

Last year, the Delhi Typerventions group put up a Devanagari-Bharati Braille installation at Amar Jyoti School, an institute for the visually-impaired, in Delhi. I, of course, was in faraway Cupertino then, but it didn’t stop me from making a small contribution—designing the Devanagari lettering and composing it with the Braille. The most challenging part of […]


The late nineteenth century in north India was a fascinating time. In a matter of a few decades, a language dichotomy emerged. While it was almost unimaginable at the beginning of the century, it became one of the strongholds of the region’s politics. Hindustani split into two. (Modern Standard) Hindi became more Sanskritised, and Urdu […]

The Shape of Letters

During my trip to Ahmedabad a couple of weeks ago, I spent an evening with Kalapi and Satya discussing type. We were talking about how we learn to write, and Kalapi complained that the process of teaching children how to write Gujarati in schools is very hurried. They are quickly taught how to write the […]

The Queen, the Begam and the Princess

In his book One Language Two Scripts, Christopher King writes about a Hindi drama from late nineteenth century India — a personification of the language and script conflict in Northern India. In the play, Queen Devanagari pleads to Begum Urdu to return her rightful place. King believes that the drama needed one more character, Princess […]

How we learn to write

Aksharaya — Letter Conscious People, the amazing folks who gave me a chance to be a part of their workshop and camp last year, are on a drive to collect script primers from India and abroad. This call is on behalf of Prof. Kshirsagar, who is pursuing his PhD from the Industrial Design Centre at […]

Imagine learning Hindi with this notebook.

I work in Hauz Khas Village, an urban village in New Delhi, which is surrounded by an urban forest, and has within its boundaries the ruins of a 13th century Madarssa and a vast lake that you wouldn’t expect in the middle of a sprawling city. Hauz Khas Village is also home to a very […]