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Embedded Diversities: Design Explorations with the Tool of Type and Expressions

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Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST,volume 135)

Abstract

A script in India conveys a symbolic glimpse into a particular culture and the associated beliefs. There is an attractive diversity due to appearance of various such scripts. The diversity is not only in the existence of the scripts but also more critically in their visual representation. The aesthetic beauty and the traditional native identity are imbued as one harmonious unit in the multitude letterforms of any script. Indigenous ‘Scripts’ in India mirror the cultural essence of letterforms. Different forms of writing each script represent the origin of a script from the respective local context—where a particular language written in specific script defines the context (Nath et al. in Display Type Expressions: The cultural underpinnings of the sripts from two Royal Cities of India, 2004 [1]). This paper outlines the existence of three visual facets that are part of the representation of a script. The foremost facet is ‘Language,’ that provides a communicable/functional meaning to the form of the script. A language has a structure, syntax, and a cultural basis that are associated with the style/form of a particular script. The second facet consists of ‘Tools or Techniques of production,’ that provide the mechanics of letter structure, its construction, design, and style. The third facet consists of ‘Semantics (Expressions) and meaning based applications,’ that give a provision of a range of applications from unilingual to multi-lingual forms of visual display. The explorations of expressions of various local scripts and their type styles by design students showcase a range of functional meanings, cultural meanings and tool influenced meanings that nuance the compositions to a new level of aesthetics. The present paper brings forth the trifold visual approach from ‘Language’ to ‘Tools or Techniques of production’ to the final type forms that communicate semantics in the context of meaning-based communication aims. The methodology provides a scientific lens to craft the design process for better designs with type and their expressions. In conclusion, a conceptual approach in the form of an open framework has been discussed. This framework is envisioned to act as a scientific frame of reference to understand the design applications of scripts, languages, tools, and techniques, type expressions, etc.

Keywords

  • Typography and diversity
  • Language
  • Local scripts
  • Semantics
  • Syntax
  • Type and expressions
  • India

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Fig. 30.1

Source http://www.flickr.com/photos/91806538@ N00/2314668364/

Fig. 30.2

Source Chavelli, calligraphy studio, 2015

Fig. 30.3

Design by: Hriday Gami, M.Des, 2014–16, IIT Guwahati, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.4

Design: Hriday Gami, M.Des, 2014–16, IIT Guwahati, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.5

Design: Hriday Gami, M.Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.6

Design by: Nilutpal Buragohain, M.Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.7

Design by: Honlung Ragui, M.Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.8

Design by: Senthil Kumar, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.9

Design by: Shweta Gupta, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.10

Design by: Poonam Wagle, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.11

Design by: Vikash K. Singh, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Department of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.12

Design by: Hriday Gami, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Dept of Design, IIT Guwahati

Fig. 30.13

Design by: Shweta Gupta, M. Des, 2014–16, Source Advanced Typography course, Dept of Design, IIT Guwahati

Notes

  1. 1.

    Devanagari is a complex script and contains a large character set due to the behaviors of the script, and as Bapurao S. Naik describes in his introduction to the Typography of Devanagari, ‘[The] peculiar nature of the Devanagari characters and their combinations create many difficulties in type setting.’

  2. 2.

    Ross, ‘Non-Latin scripts: key issues in type design,’ 134.

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Acknowledgements

This paper is dedicated to one and all of my Masters in Design students of 2014–16 batch—who undertook the course of ‘Advanced Typography,’ that I conducted as part of their syllabi at the Department of Design, IIT Guwahati in early 2015.

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Correspondence to Nanki Nath .

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Nath, N. (2019). Embedded Diversities: Design Explorations with the Tool of Type and Expressions. In: Chakrabarti, A. (eds) Research into Design for a Connected World. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 135. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-5977-4_30

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