Friday, November 5, 2010

A new home for Hindi Rinny...

Hi all! I felt it was time for a fresh start!

I've begun new version of the blog, hosted at - - which will grow and morph as time goes on. I have loads of material to add, and am trying my best to post a tiny bite of something every day!

This site will remain intact as an archive for as long as blogspot allows, but I will only be adding to the new site from now on! Please join me there, kind readers!

Love and knowledge,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy new year!

A year of neglect. Neglect for the blog, but focus instead on research, learning to see, learning to draw, meeting amazing professionals in the field of typeface design, and making some of the best friends of my life. I hope that my year as an MATD student is just a starting point. So, my friends, I will be back to my old routine - this time, while working a typeface designer in NYC - sharing Indic script-related discoveries on ye olde blog. This time, to a higher academic standard, I hope. ;) While the new posts are cookin', take a peek at the Indic script typefaces created by this years' University of Reading MATD (Master of Art in Typeface Design) students. Formal, a Latin/Devanagari book typeface by Marc Weymann, typeface designer from Liechtenstein. Frijky, a Latin/Bengali newspaper/magazine typeface by Neelakash Kshetrimayum, designer extraordinaire from India. Katari, a Latin/Devanagari book typeface by... me. फिर मिलेंगे, मेरे दोस्तों 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Settling in at Uni. Reading!

Hi everyone! I've been in England for a month now, trying to get used to the learning environment here, attempting to schedule out my year in preparation for essay, dissertation, and actual font design work! I've definitely let this blog fall to the wayside - even though my interest in the scripts has certainly remained strong! I have been lucky to connect with many enthusiastic people through this blog, and would love for Hindi Rinny to continue to be a source of inspiration/place of discussion for Indian scripts.

With that, I also feel that it might do some good for me to restructure the blog at some point, in order to make room for more academic, in-depth writing to sit alongside the images, and to also create some kind of resource for finding information on Indic fonts, font designers, and the like. So those are my dreams! When I get some free time, I think I will work to make them a reality! In the meantime, I will try to post some short bursts on Twitter and reply to emails as best I can! Good luck to all of you out there, and I hope to deliver a re-structured website some time in the near future!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gurmukhi Lipi

Gurmukhi on the brain!!

After a two-month hiatus, here I am! Ready to post some kind of strange script-evolution image from Piara Singh Padam's Gurmukhi Lipi da Itihas. (click image to enlarge)

Essential, awesome, recommended reading: Uni. Reading graduate Emma Williams' A Comparative Study of the Development of Gurmukhi Script

I've been linked to a great Gurmukhi site, curiously called Billie the cat... lots of great handwritten examples and fonts created by Paul Grosse.

ਰਮਨਦੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ also wishes to share with us a FontStruct creation of his, LED Gurmukhi. Check it out, all! Speaking of which, has anyone spotted any other complete fonts in Indic scripts yet? Also, congrats to Paul for being a FontStruct featured designer!

And last but not least for today's post-o-rama, I'm officially a member of Twitter! Haha! If any of you would like to follow/be followed, I'm HindiRinny.

With practice, I may someday learn to use both twitter and this blog regularly! Heh. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Celebrating with Planet Read and SLS - Same Language Subtitling

Well folks, believe it or not, I've been accepted to the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading!!! In a few months, if everything falls into place, I'll be in England, devoting nearly all my time to learning, research, and the development of a typeface from some amazingly knowledgeable people. And hopefully, the beginning of a lifetime of dedication, improvement, new experiences, and challenges. Sounds pretty good, eh?

I've been thinking a lot since I heard the news, about how big of a change this will be. I was really frightened at first (maybe just because of my recent economics encounter?) But today, I was remembering something that inspired me SO much, back when I was just starting to learn Devanagari. After watching a bunch of Hindi videos on youtube with English subtitles, I was wondering if I'd be able to find videos captioned in Hindi, so that I could better understand the pronunciation of the letters. Turns out some very smart and good-hearted people have already thought of this. And it is being implemented in India as we speak, helping to improve the reading skills of millions of young readers - it's called Same Language Subtitling, and is being promoted, studied, and developed by the amazing people at Planet Read.

I'll let you read more about it at their site - it really says it all. (And feel free to donate! Of course!!) But it just struck me as such a simple but amazing way to improve the lives of so many people. And I bet there's a lot more that we can do, using design and typography, combined with an innovative use of the existing technology and systems in developing parts of the world. I guess now I just have to join the ranks of people trying to figure that all out! That sort of motivation will wash away any fears I have. This coming year should be a good start down that path! Wish me luck!

And in the meantime, enjoy some SLS.

*oh, P.S. - our amazing friend Deven Sansare got in contact with the director of "The Last Calligraphers" film and is sad to report that "the project was shelved because the Senior Editor passed away and his son is not committed or interested in taking the newspaper forward. So all they have is the trailer." - How incredibly sad. As Deven put it so hauntingly, "Another piece of history becomes history."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Colorful 1960s, 70s Gujarati book covers

Today was a little miracle! I realized that I would finally be able to get over to the South Asian library at the University of Minnesota -- and my goodness, it was I N C R E D I B L E. I found some amazing books on the history of printing and writing, took a bunch of photos, and will hopefully be able to go back for more before it closes up for the summer!

Above, one of many amazingly colorful Gujarati book covers, from a new Flickr set. The images I collected today have put all of my other ones to shame. But that's good! (Sorry they're kind of off-kilter, I was blindly shooting because the library was closing!) Oh gosh, seriously, these covers are my favorite things in the world. Ohhhh my. I'm sure more will follow!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hi all! Yet again, I am very slow to post. Luckily, one thing keeping me busy is that I've been getting an application ready to hopefully study type design this fall -- thanks SO MUCH to the friends who have been helping me with that process and encouraging me!

Sadly, the economic slowdown has finally hit the company where I work and I'll now have Fridays off! A blessing in disguise? At least I'll be able to devote more time to this blog! As well as actually starting to design some fonts, gosh darn it! Above, you will see lots of "ka" variations I've made while warming up my calligraphy pen. Feel free to chuckle. :)

I've also just met Pooja Saxena, another young designer hoping to design type someday! On her blog, I was happy to see her rows and rows of "a". I love knowing that there are others getting in touch with their inner scribe. Here's some inspiration - The Last Calligraphers trailer, a film about the staff of The Musalman, the last hand-written newspaper in Urdu. Has anyone seen the final film?! That would be neat to see!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Image from Sign Wallahs, an article by Meena Kadri about the profession of graphics-painting. Pdf can be downloaded from LAB magazine.

Meena also has some AMAZING images of Indian graphics and daily life at her Flickr account, Meanest Indian. You'll see that she has collaborated with Indian sign painters in the works "Bollywood Soul" and "English of India". You can hear more about her from her interview at TypeRadio.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Above image from WRITECLICK, blog of Deven Sensare of Umbrella Design, Mumbai.

After reading Erik's post about Indian SMS books, I was lucky enough to get in contact with Deven himself, and we were able to further discuss the digitization of Hindi and role of "Hinglish" in India. On his blog, he shows examples of billboards and graphics using Hindi written phonetically in Latin characters, an ongoing trend in India.

Hinglish makes no sense to the guy who can read Hindi, but not English. Neither to the guy who can read English but doesn't understand Hindi. Who is Hinglish talking to?

Hopefully, if we keep using the Google and Blogger Indic scripts buttons, keeping the online presence of these scripts strong, and designers keep pumping out new Indic typefaces and design solutions, hopefully the Indic scripts will be able to survive!! Cross your fingers, folks!

Deven, and his colleagues Bhupal Ramnathkar, Farhad F. Elavia, and Mangesh Zemse, have created the Facebook group, DESIgn, which will hopefully turn into a forum for people interested in Indian design. Join up, if you're on Facebook! Oooh, does an Orkut equivalent already exist? Is that still the predominant social networking site in India?

मैं थोड़ी हिंदी लिखने की कोशिश करती हूँ

Thanks again, Deven!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tiny Telugu and Tamil Type

Hi, all! I've recently uploaded some quick snapshots from bibles found at the Minneapolis Public Library. Both included some of the smallest Indic type I've seen so far, as well as some interesting biblical maps with hand-lettering! Here is the Telugu set, and here the Tamil set. Not sure if this is of any interest to anyone, but I thought I'd share! You also get to see my fingernails! What fun!

I've also posted some Bengali script diagrams in a similar style as the Gurmukhi one posted earlier!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Perso-Arabic workshop at MCAD

Above, image from a Perso-Arabic workshop hosted by Erik Brandt and Leland Hill at my alma mater. Students photographed, drew, and manipulated characters to create some really interesting compositions! Check out the Geotypografika flickr set for more! I'm so very jealous.

Also please check out new friend Omid Hamooni's calligraphic work.

And, as always, sorry readers, for my slowness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Illustrative Tamil type and lettering

Oh my goodness! I recommend everyone visit, an online Tamil bookstore, and check out the amazing book cover scans! I could click for days! So many great display fonts and lettering! And then buy something, too ;) I'm sure I'll post many more from this site. Pure bliss!

Also, a quick Hindi Rinny Hooray to our pal, Mr. Dan Reynolds for his recent Type Director's Club "Certificate of Typographic Excellence in Type Design" for Malabar, the Latin component of Martel, his University of Reading design that contains a Devanagari character set.

And, those of you in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, be sure to stop by the Walker Art Center next Tuesday, March 10th at 7pm for what is sure to be a great typography lecture hosted by Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin of Process Type Foundry.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nice film title treatment: Abhijan (The Expedition)

Love this! I haven't seen the film, but hooray again for Satyajit Ray!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diacritical / vocalization marks and Arabic

I finally got around to reading the lovely diacritical mark article that our friend, Mr. David Březina wrote for i love typography! I don't know much about Arabic, but it definitely made me want to take another look at the decorative calligraphic work in which the *vocalization* marks are more obviously essential elements of the composition. After a very very quick Google search, I found this nice overview of the history of Arabic type evolution that looks promising. Hopefully it will help me dig further! Thank you, Pascal Zoghbi!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cool cover illustration from Hindi-Telugu dictionary

I just thought this was particularly nifty. From Sri Kappa Ganthula Satyanarayana's Hindi-Telugu dictionary, hosted at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Google Books and Internet Archive: Indic script pdf books

Due to my horrible documentation practices, I had to search the online library catalogs to find the books I used for my flickr collection. Lo and behold, I stumbled upon .pdf excerpts (or even in some cases, entire books!) hosted by Google books and the Internet Archive!

I'm not sure how these were all scanned, if by man or machine, but hooray! (Yeesh, after working as a documenter/scanner in my college's media library for two years, I have an even deeper respect for the people who put the time and effort into projects like this! -- maybe I should honor them by making sure to properly cite things from now on. Sigh.)

So here you go, kiddos! A few fine examples!

A Kannada-English school dictionary, hosted by Internet Archive.
A Progressive Grammar of the Malayalam Language, at Google Books.
Sinhalese, self-taught, at Internet Archive.

I reccomend searching for other Indian languages and topics at Internet Archive - there is some good stuff!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kannada and Malayalam images

Nothing too amazing to report today, but I'm going to try to get in the habit of more frequent posts, even if they are simple like this! Sound good, readers?

I've just added some dark, hastily taken photos of Kannada and Malayalam type and lettering from the few books I've been able to find on the subject during recent library visits. If you click on "all sizes", there are much larger - and hopefully slightly helpful - images. So there you go! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Greetings! My Flickr type samples

There is no good excuse for my absence. So I will just start back up again without one! My apology to you all: My flickr type collection. Small, but I will keep adding to it! So far, just Devanagari type images I snapped quickly from books at a couple of libraries!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"The Coke side of life" in South Asia

So this is a wee bit late, but did anyone catch the special "Coke around the world" cans and bottles that came out during the Olympics? I'm not sure if it was an America only thing, but I remembered one day going to the store and having to choose between a Bengali, Sinhala, or Devanagari-scripted bottle! It was strange and wonderful and kind of disturbing all at the same time!

So I went to the Beijing 2008 Coke site in order to see the other world-script bottles available.. and found some decorative little flash animations displaying bits of architecture and flora and fauna of the respective countries. And strange little discriptions.. apparently, "The Coke side of life in Bangladesh" consists of "Monsoons, cyclones, Bengal tigers, and never a dull moment!" I found it confusing and almost offensive or something. I guess I don't know why I'd expect anything different.

But anyway, above is a sampling of some South Asian Coke-related things (one being a Malayalam Coke protest poster -- due to Coke's exploitation of water resources, pesticide content, and their pollution). Also, a bottle of Thums Up!, a popular cola that was bought by Coke in 1993.

Of the many, many things I should probably eliminate from my life, I suppose I should add Coke to my list..

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dan and Paul's Devanagari MATD type creations!

Remember that time a crazy girl from Minnesota started a South Asian type blog and then only posted 4 times in 3 months? Yeah, I do too. And it was so frustrating!!! Hopefully I can be forgiven though, before I'm declared dead...

Feast your eyes on some beautiful new typefaces created by the dedicated, talented U of Reading MATD students Dan Reynolds and Paul Hunt!!! They were kind enough to send me samples of their typefaces, which I am still fine-toothed-combing-over, trying to learn from their genius! Hee hee.

Dan's Martel typeface, features both Devanagari and Latin characters (with a plethora of diacritical marks for use with other European languages!) and was designed to live up to the great expectations of small-print newspaper design, including multiple weights and condensed characters. He paid close attention to stroke thickness and character height in each script in order to harmonize the over-all text color, making a seamless language integration! Ahhh!

I would describe Paul's Latin Grandia and Devanagari Gandhara typefaces as beautifully funky-chunky. He describes them as "Simple character construction with calligraphic flair." I'm not too great at writing. But bravo to him! His generous, squarish counters and bold serifs make for clear and distinct forms and beautiful negative space! He also created an generous library of beautiful conjuct characters! Ahhh again!

Anyway, please visit the sites of these two kind fellows - I'm sure they would love to talk type with anyone who is willing, and would love feedback and insight from regular Devanagari font users!!


Also, if any of you dear readers have a relevant personal site and wish for it to be included in my new list of "Type Friends" links on the right-hand side of the page, I'll gladly link to you! Please send me an email with your site!! I promise to be a better blog friend from now on.