Explore the wonders of Devanagari letterforms. From hand-painted signs to modern printed letters, discover the rich typographic tradition of South Asia as expressed through the Devanagari script.
Practica Program: Intro to Devanagari
Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 September – 13 October, 2023
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Friday classes are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 7:30pm Mumbai, 4pm Berlin, 10am New York time.
21 total course hours, live classes held over Zoom. Students should expect to spend roughly two hours a week on homework or research outside of class.
What you’ll learn:
- Understanding of the construction and proportions of Devanagari letterforms
- A visual survey of the past, present, and future of Devanagari letterforms
- Creating new styles for Devanagari letterforms through several exercises
- Introduction to drawing a Devanagari typeface in Glyphs 3
- Creating a brief for a new typeface project
- Looking at how the script functions and the rendering of Devanagari in text input tools.
Students begin by learning about the structure and evolution of the script, and then experiment with making their own Devanagari letterforms through prompts and weekly assignments. Individualized feedback helps students improve the quality of their letters, but also develop their own ability to critically analyze Devanagari forms. The final weeks are devoted to understanding what is involved in making a Devanagari typeface — from initial idea, to Béziers, to an overview of the programming involved. By the end of the course, students will have a holistic overview of the Devanagari script and a foundation for creating their own Devanagari typeface.
- Sept 8: Course introduction, lecture: an overview of the script and its evolution
- Sept 12: Feedback session: hand-painted letters
- Sept 15: Lecture: proportions, terminology, metrics, and the influence of tools
- Sept 19: Feedback session: TypeCooker exercise
- Sept 22: Lecture: the type design process and state of Devanagari type design
- Sept 26: Feedback session: missing letter exercise
- Sept 29: Demo: moving to a font editor
- Oct 3: Feedback session: marks and conjuncts
- Oct 6: Lecture with visiting instructor
- Oct 10: Feedback session: the design brief and an initial word
- Oct 13: Lecture: expanding from idea to typeface and next steps
Kimya Gandhi (Mota Italic)
No prior experience with Devanagari is required, however a basic grasp of drawing in vector programs, like Illustrator or a font editor, is needed for most of the homework.
USD 600, early bird until 23 August: USD 480
For additional tiers, see the course page.
Enrollment opens August 15, 2023.
- Basic materials for sketching letters: pencils and paper or a sketchbook
- Paint, a brush, and paper (a small amount of poster paint or paint of choice, a ¼” to ½” flat brush, plus a couple sheets of paper suitable for the paint)
- Access to a printer is preferred but not necessary.
- Mac with Glyphs 3 preinstalled.
- A Miro account (free)
- Plus, the basics for joining an online class.