“You are not the master of your own creative work, it is your assignment.” So said the typographer/professor/artist R.K. Joshi, who is credited with inspiring type artists and designers throughout India. Once he became immersed in the ideas of calligraphy and fonts in the Western world, he turned his attention to India where they are said to have 22 languages and 10 scripts. Eventually he would go on to develop font design software and he would also design a series of Indic fonts for Microsoft Windows. For Joshi, the letterforms themselves had the potential to possess a beauty far beyond their value as parts of words in a language. Though so much of our thought is guided by the language in which we are grounded, Joshi would argue that it is not even necessary to understand the language to appreciate the beauty of the letters.
Following in Joshi’s footsteps or handprints as the case may be, other typographers such as Achyut Palav arrived at the thinking that the individual letters in each script are beautiful and powerful. The vertical and horizontal lines are described in an almost spiritual manner, “Alive, vibrating, pulsating with its inherent, shape, giving a canvas space to your thoughts, a meaning to the sounds & actions.” As for R.K. Joshi, he was captivated by the syllable, “Om” or “Aum” which is possibly the most recognized Indian graphic element, widely used in religious and secular situations.
- New Media
- How To