5 April10 May 2024
Online Course

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, April 5–May 10, 2024
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Friday classes are 1.5 hours.
Optional classes on April 10 & 17 are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 7:30pm Mumbai, 4pm Berlin, 10am New York time.

24 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 classes are devoted to understanding what happens when students move from sketches to a font editor — from manipulating 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.

Class schedule:

  • April 5: Course introduction, lecture: an overview of the script and its evolution plus visiting lecture with Aashim Tyagi
  • April 9: Feedback session: hand-painted letters
  • April 10: Optional: phonetics of Devanagari script
  • April 12: Lecture: proportions, terminology, metrics, and the influence of tools
  • April 16: Feedback session: TypeCooker exercise
  • April 17: Optional: basics of drawing good curves in Glyphs with Sol Matas
  • April 19: Lecture: the type design process and state of Devanagari type design
  • April 23: Feedback session: missing letter exercise
  • April 26: Demo: moving to a font editor
  • April 30: Feedback session: marks and conjuncts
  • May 3: Lecture with visiting instructor Lipi Raval
  • May 7: Feedback session: the design brief and an initial word
  • May 10: Lecture: expanding from idea to typeface and next steps


Kimya Gandhi (Mota Italic)

For Whom?

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.

How Much?

USD 675
For additional tiers, see the course page.
Enrollment opens March 25, 2024 at 9am Chicago.




  • 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.