Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Unravelling Text : : Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore (2017)

Last year I had an opportunity to take calligraphy workshop for students from design school (Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology). It was two week long course and first time these students going to experiment with letterforms.

This workshop (elective) started with learning basic hands – traditional roman italic and devanagri scripts, then moving to bit free brush letterings, then total experimental and conventional ruling pen, cola pen with mark making. In between they were inspired with videos, presentations of the works of national & international calligraphers around the world.

Students enjoyed both the styles – traditional, conventional as well as wild, experimental. But glad to hear majority preferred the traditional calligraphy learning. They were super enthu, sincere while learning these scripts.

Below are two short videos, first one is about actual workshop in progress and other is about final display.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

36daysoftype with daddy and daughter

I was observing and admiring a lot on instagram about #36daysoftype. But never dared to participate as I wasn't sure about commitment and patience. This time I thought of giving it a try. It was fine for me to leave it incomplete, I was prepared. I fixed on this decision when me and my 7 year old daughter were playing 'rangometry'* and trying out different shapes, making random characters and objects. Obviously my first try-outs were letterforms and was quite hooked on making, arranging, composing letters as results were not bad.

36daysoftype exercise is pretty simple—anyone can participate, no fee, no registration. Participant needs to make, draw, create, write or shoot one letterform each day and upload it on their respective instagram handle. End of 36 days, you get 26 alphabets along with 10 numerical like a basic font family. You can wish to pick-up any theme for your set or not compulsory though. It's fine if you miss one or two days, you can catch up by posting them later. There are no hard and fast rules, its purely fun and experience purpose.

I decided to work on obvious theme of geometry with colourful shapes. Creating letterforms with primary colours and shapes is a TASK, it sounds and looks simple but IT'S NOT. I tried to create non-obvious, unconventional forms maintaining the readability. I was attempting to make as simple as possible but couldn't give justice the legibility. Also few letterforms needed more shapes to complete. None of the letterforms were created at first take; I approved each letter after 2-3 try-outs.

Here its the complete set of my 36 letterforms. Not fully satisfied but pleased to participate and managed to post it regularly (read: deadlines). My assistant 'designer' of this game was a daughter who helped me to decide what was working and what needed an improvement. Her constant complaint was "you are making complicated letters" I am amazed with her simplistic design solutions and not to carried away because of many options.

Here are the rangometry shapes from which we created alphabets. Rangometry is an excellent teaching aid which is used in my little one's school. To make complex subjects simpler. I think its an excellent tool for graphic designers too make logos, symbols and any graphic-geometric forms.    

Alvida Delhi : : Namaskara Bangalore

I have shifted, relocated and moved to BENGALURU from DELHI. Its been a month now, I am in Bangalore. I was staying in Delhi for 12 years. I have love and hate relation with this city. I came to Delhi for a job in design studio thinking of exploring new city, culture, traveling to fascinating places, eating amazing food and meeting interesting people etc. and stuck there for almost a decade.

Delhi witnessed many memorable events of my life — my first art exhibition, my first published calligraphy work in international magazine (Letter Arts Review), TV shows and interviews, my first TEDx, birth of my daughter and most importantly my journey as a calligrapher and independent designer anchored here. Met amazing people, clients and friends here.

We too witnessed the flavour of "Delhi dilwalon ki" many times. Now onwards I won't be answerable to the cliche 'how come Mumbaikar adjusting and liking in Delhi'

We have shifted to BENGALURU thinking of exploring new city, culture, traveling to fascinating places and meeting interesting people etc. and hope to stick here for another decade...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Twisted Type : : MICA, Ahmedabad

December 2017; I had an opportunity to conduct a calligraphy workshop in MICA institute, Ahmedabad. MICA has a course "Crafting Creative Communication" commonly called as CCC, under which they had planned elective programs with industry specialists and explorer of new crafts like film making, photography, story-telling, branding, radio communication etc.

My course "Twisted Type" was planned to introduce the calligraphy as an art form, the technical aspects of typography and ending with implementation of learning in commercial application with some exercises. I was fortunate to work with these 21 enthusiastic and sincere students. Full four days (including some mid-nights) comprised with basic calligraphy hands, introduction to typography, emotive typography, hand-lettering exercises then moving to experimental expressions with innovative tools and final group project. Being a residential campus it was fun-filled, homely atmosphere keeping the enthusiasm, curiosity intact and overall freshness in work.

Most of the modules were interactive, activity and games based. Love the energy & passion of these first time hand-letterers, brush holders and ink-splatters! The work they had delivered was totally incredible. Here I am sharing videos of course and final display.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Manohar Handwriting

My hand-writing had few influences from childhood, one is my mother who still (at 70yrs) has impeccable, consistent, neat (un-shaky) handwriting and second one was our society guard – Manohar. His job was to write information on the common board which is to be placed at the main entrance; so anyone enters or exits can view this. Recently when I went home, I didn't notice that large black board with beautiful devanagari, chalk letters. Why? because the master Manohar who used to write is passed away after major illness.

Sad to know, these blackboards will be empty or won't be embellished same as with Manohar's handwriting. I am sure, residents will manage without his handwriting – someone else (or digital printouts may be) will take over his place. The purpose is important; good skill is value addition – that's how we looked at him. There were very few appreciators who actually told him or gave rewards for his extraordinary skill.

I find it amazing because he was lefty. I have special respect for left handed calligraphers/ writers. He was true to his work; his name means – beautiful (Manohar means beautiful in Sanskrit and Marathi)

Thank you Manohar for being there during my upbringing and exposed the kids like us to the "good handwriting" we never interacted on this subject, I wish I could and I wish I documented your few lettering samples. But I am glad that on my last visit I clicked few pictures while you were writing the board. That's good enough memory for me to cherish.