Tag Archives: Geometric




The geometric construction has enhanced the look of the base letterforms. They now look serene. And proportions are maintained.

Another interesting thing (once again the thought borrowed from Dr Bhagvat’s process of categorization) is that every letterform will have a specific unit based on the width.

Take a look at the construction of skeleton of the base letterforms. These are intial sketches.

There are many reasons why skeleton should be build upon first.

Skeleton of the letteform will have a structure that helps gain legibility even before the weights are stuffed into the structure. Once the skeleton is perfect, it is just a matter of choice to place different weights around the defined structure.

With this exercise, I have learnt these things:

1. Place letterforms under specific width. Categorize letterforms based on the width  too. And if needed, create one’s own unit for width. I have used Graphical unit. One graphical unit being 1 cm. Most letterforms are place inside 4 graphical unit.
2. The logic behind curves in all letterforms can be repeated to control too many variations. So the circles that help construct one base letterform may help construct another letterform without increasing the radius of any of the circles.
3. If the solution to the problem is right, then it has to be beautiful too. Just solving a problem, in type design, is no more a challenge.
4. Before constructing letteforms, clarity can be achieved by creating thumbnails of the trial constructions. Then based on the analysis of thumbnails, final constructions can be carried out. This will save a lot of time and iterations.
5. Why geometry? Because symmetry comes into play. And symmetry definitely works on the screen. And I am sure I will have tough time dealing with these forms on the screen grid.
6. Using graph sheets as medium to plan the construction is recommended. I am using a basic Camlin compass to create circles of specific radius, a blue leaded pencil to mark the centerpoints of the circles and to draw diagonals that help decide the form of most letters, and a charcoal pencil to extract the form out of the construction.




Another challenge was to take all the base forms and see if I would be able to relate something with each one of them.

Now, how would this help me design a type? Maybe it doesn’t help me. But that was my way of looking at aesthetics. I mean if the form has to look really beautiful, beyond good proportions and legibility, it has to be related to the aesthetic form in our mind.

Although I struggled a lot to figure out the metaphors with some help from Asutosh and Armeen since they don’t know the language or can relate to the script.

For me this exercise was tough, for these reasons:

1. Whenever I used to think of a letter, I used to think of the image that is usually associated with the sound. For instance, in Engish, When I say ‘A’ you will think of apple. Now that is based on the sound. But can we think of an image with the form?
2. I am exposed to script too much. And that is in a way, sometimes works against. You are so familiar to forms you treat them as text and you try to change the structure accordingly. But there needs to be an objective base to build a letter set and not intution.
3. Asutosh provided this insight: “Why don’t you try gerometric forms? I mean, use circles and squares. Maybe you will be able to look at proportions mathematically, rather than going by a few hand written examples.” Suddenly everything fell in place. I knew what direction I should take.
4. Dr Bhagvat suggests that categorization of the letterforms can also be done according to: (i) The size (ii) Simplicity (iii) Motion/stroke/angles (iv) Endings/flourishes (v) Anatomy
5. Dr Bhagvat has also studied characteristics of Devanagari. And his analysis is comprehensive, although debatable. But I also need to study the characteristics of the Kannada letterforms. It will help me when I start constructing the letterforms.

At this moment, the stuggle is to understand proportions. Not much standardization has been brought about in the Kannada script.