Improvising type cultures:
The challenges and scope of combining Latin and Indic scripts in India.
Multi-lingual typography is like fusion music. It’s not just playing in key, in tempo, following a rhythm or chord progression that makes an interesting composition. It’s when different sound and instruments adapt, interact, converse and improvise with one another—retaining their characteristics and flavor—to create a meaningful musical experience.
In a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-script, hugely diverse country like India, how do we go about combining different Indic scripts with Latin letterforms for typographic communication—in branding, display and text? What are the important factors to keep in mind while taking crucial typographic decisions? What are possible approaches and directions one can take to address this complex yet interesting design challenge?
Anand Naorem is a graphic designer based in New Delhi, a graduate from the National Institute of Design, India. Naorem has worked extensively in brand identity, editorial, event and user interface design projects. He has been the art director, design head and co-founder of various media companies, design studios and publishing houses in India including Dorling Kindersley, tehelka.com, Anant Media, and Think Works. He is currently the consulting design editor at Tehelka news magazine. Naorem is also an illustrator and a sound artist.
Neelakash Kshetrimayum is a type and graphic designer based in New Delhi, India. A communication design graduate from the National Institute of Design, India and an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, where he was awarded the Monotype Studentship. He has worked on different Indic script projects with Adobe, Google, Tiro Typeworks, and Dalton Maag.