The Typography Society of India : Story so far.
Story of our group–from a small whatsapp group to a "Society" with 689 members.
Prof G V Sreekumar,
IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay.
The Typography Society of India started off as a small WhatsApp group for calligraphy and typography enthusiasts. Main objective of this group is to provide a platform for interaction and to share knowledge on Calligraphy, Typography, Hand lettering etc with design students from various institutes. Soon this group was enriched by presence of a large number of calligraphers, typographers, design academicians and professionals which made us progress towards creating an interesting virtual meeting point for people to share notes, take feedback, discuss concepts etc.
Then, as we faced the lockdown phase of our lives, I thought of expanding the activities of the group and started online talks on alternate saturdays.
Three members of my typography family– Prof Tarundeep Girdher (NID Ahmedabad), Dr D.Udayakumar (Head, Dept of Design, IIT Guwahati) and Chirag Gander (The Minimalist) formed the core group which gave valuable support, guidance and advice for taking the group forward in all aspects. I am indebted to them forever, for their wonderful support and a very warm family atmosphere they created in our 'work behind the scenes' to give life to this initiative.
The first talk on 27th June 2020, was preceded by "Ganesh Vandan", an innovative demonstration by master calligrapher Sri. Achyut Palav, who created a special calligraphic Ganapati to kickstart the first online event of the group. Our first speaker was typographer Ms. Kimya Gandhi who spoke about font design in Indic scripts and shared her latest font design experience of creating a customised font based on the legendary writer Pu La Deshpande's handwriting.
Then we had a series of wonderful speakers gracing our online sessions– Rajeev Prakash, Chirag Gander, Shekhar Kamat, Kalapi Gajjar, D.Udayakumar etc. We will be soon having some more wonderful designers like Anup Gupta and Aurobind Patel as our speakers.
Next step was to formalise the existence of this group by adopting a good name.
After a long debate, we decided to go for the name of "The Typography Society of India".
The formal inauguration of the society was held on 15th August 2020.
Renowned calligrapher Mr Parameshwar Raju created a Ganesha icon through calligraphic strokes, Young calligrapher Mr Dilbag Singh wrote the word "The Typography Society of India" in his beautiful calligraphic style and the legendary designer Mr. Shekhar Kamat, known for his symbol design and brand identity design for the State Bank of India, gave the inaugural address.
At the time of writing this, on 23rd September 2020, we have total 689 members in the digital platform.
288 members in two WhatsApp groups and 401 members in Facebook group called "Typography India'. We have just started our instagram handle @typographysocietyofindia
We plan to publish the online event links in this blog on alternate saturdays at 5.00pm IST. The talks will be available to everyone in multiple platforms not only in Zoom, but also in YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Twitter.
The Society plans to have an executive committee made of a President, Vice President, Treasurer and invited members. The invited members include Mr Kalapi Gajjar, Prajwal Xavier and Prof Titu Milu. We will soon update the full list of office bearers in this blog.
We also have an advisory panel, with the following members:
Prof Mahendra Patel, Mr Parameshwar Raju, Mr Achyut Palav, Mr Muthu Nedumaran, Mr Rajeev Prakash, Mr Santosh Kshirsagar and Mr Sarang Kulkarni
A brief version of the vision and objectives of The Typography Society of India is given below.
The Typography Society of India's vision is to be a world class network representing and promoting the interests of Indian educators, students and professionals working in the domain of calligraphy, typography, type design (indic scripts and others) and hand lettering, creating a meaningful interface to promote the love of letterforms to benefit both the design industry and others.
The Typography Society of India is committed to the following:
. Promote best practices and excellence in the professional and academic aspects of calligraphy, typography and type design in India by strengthening the capabilities of Indian design students, academicians and professionals alike.
· Create a strong network of professionals, educators and students with a passion for letterforms
· Provide a network of senior members as mentors for all learners
· Recognize excellence/ best practices in Indian typography, type design and calligraphy
· Organise programs to create awareness on Calligraphy, Typography and allied domains in general public
· Create a repository of shared knowledge and experience by and for typographers, educators, students and professionals.
I am also thankful to Mr Kalapi Gajjar, who sponsored a license of Zoom for us to conduct the online sessions and to Mr Kiran Jonnalagadda & Ms Zainab Bawa from Hasgeek.com for their valuable support for taking the online sessions forward to a wider audience. Now our events are streamed live in Youtube, Facebook and Twitter in collaboration with hasgeek.com
Special thanks to all the young students who contributed a lot to take the energy of the groups to an unbelievably different level.
I am specially thankful to the faculty and students of Dept of Design, Delhi Technological University who became members of our group and pumped energy into the group with lots of sincerity. I will never forget the student friend who sparked the debate on Comic Sans!
We will be soon organising a national level competition to design a symbol/logo/wordmark for The Typography Society of India. Watch this blog space for more details!
For more details, please feel free to write to us: