Friday, December 18, 2009

Font Design - as a small study for my thesis

This is a font that I have designed for my Display Lettering class. I am calling it Curve.

Curve Medium
is a San Serif display font. One end of a stroke in each letter is curved thereby giving it its name.
I was trying to make a font with well-balanced proportions. Special attention was paid to vary the x-heights, the stem and the stroke widths of each letter to make it more legible and visually elegant. I wanted this font to be functional and have an amiable feel to it so that it seems welcoming and approachable. The curve in each letter was a subtle stylistic measure to make the San Serif less sharp and obtuse.

While this is not what Hybrid Masala Font is going to be like but going through the process of designing this font has taught me a lot about
- drawing letter forms by hand
- translating the sketches onto illustrator
- using fontlab to convert the illustrator eps and generating a font
- I have learnt about kerning, metrics and positioning and aligning letters in fontlab
- also I have begun to study composite characters and this directly relates to my thesis project as the hindi accents will be added to English letterforms as composite characters.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Final: Hybrid Masala Application

This project is a prototype for my Thesis which I will be completing next semester. I am making an experimental Hybrid script that combines English (roman) Consonants with Hindi (devnaagri) Vowels to create words. This script is useful for short words and phrases and therefor lends itself naturally for signage, branding and display lettering purposes.

In order to support this script I will create
1) a website that shares the rules and guidelines for this writing system -
2) A font that supports this system
3) A flash application that allows one to test the system, create samples online and post them to a ready database and community online, and also test the font.

My project is a prototype for the application.
Download it here -

This application allows a user to test the writing system and font
1) They enter their name
2) They enter the word they are trying to create in English or Hinglish (Hindi transliterated in roman letters).
3) Using the provided keyboard they can create the word or phrase
4) They can delete with the back arrow
5) Once they hit submit the words will become a part of a larger system with other samples like the sketch below -

Sunday, December 13, 2009

user scanrio - font in use

The HybridMasala font will be used using the glyph palette in softwares. As this is meant for short words, and phrases and nto for full sentences the glyph palette will be effective for a user who hasnt learnt the key mapping.

wireframe- online application to test writing system and font

wireframe - rules for system

1) Character set:
21 English Consonants
12 Hindi Vowel letters
12 Vowel accents

2) Combine the english consonants and hindi vowels to spell words
- Use consonants to create a base sound
- Add vowel accents to alter the sound

3) If the word begins with a vowel use a vowel letter

4) The short ‘a’ vowel sound is inherent in consonants, no need to add it unless the word begins with the vowel.

5) Exclude silent English consonants

6) Spell words exactly as you say them for complete phonetics

7) All words will have a bar on top

8) English consonants sit below the bar and NOT touch it.

9) Hindi vowel letters sit below the bar and NOT touch it.

10) Hindi vowel accents MUST touch the bar on top, except the ones that are applied below.

Preliminary lettering samples

Scope - character set

revised project concept statement

HYBRID MASALA - "mixed flavors"
An experimental writing system which combinesEnglish consonants and Hindi vowels. It is a way for communication designers to connect with an audience that speaks Hinglish, a mixture of Hindi and English.

HybridMasala.otf is one typeface that supports this writing system
- learn about system
- test it and make samples
- download the font
- peer to peer community for making up masala words

revised domain map

More Precedents

Xu Bing -
1) Book from the Sky

2) Book from the Ground

3) The New English Calligraphy, Square Calligraphy

Pranav Mistry - Third Eye

Klingon Language Institute

Malmal - store in Mumbai, Bandra. that uses a hybrid signage.

Alphabet Synthesis Machine

users and cohort

User Group - Designers

User Group - Hinglish speakers

feedback analysis for writing specimens

- Positive response
- creative, interesting, unusual and cool, very imaginative
- element of humor and play
- Surprisingly easy to read
- single words work much better
- once you got the rule it was as quick to read as hindi or english
- grabs your attention so you want to try and figure it out - like a game, like mirrored writing
- easy for words that they know - want to see unknown , or made up words
- has a strong potential for branding - not corporate but playful, fun and light hearted look

- can be used as a fun font, display font
- movie poster titles
- print
- online?

some things need to be clear in terms of the rules and system -
- Eliminating vowels and using hindi accents.
- can I remove silent letters as well?
- make it more pronouncable - more phonetic,
- handwriting needs to be clearer,
- some issues with letters that look similar in both languages