Typographic Love: Handpainted Type

Design & Style

HandpaintedType is a project that is dedicated to preserving the typographic practice of street painters around India. These painters, with the advent of local DTP (Desktop Publishers) shops, are rapidly going out of business with many of them switching to the quicker, cheaper but uglier vinyls. Many painters have given up their practice altogether.
The project involves documenting the typefaces of road side painters across India and digitizing it so that it serves as a resource for present and future generations.

This is the premise behind Handpainted Type, a beautiful project that brings together a series of street painters or artists alike that want to preserve the art of hand-made lettering that's so characteristic in the streets of India. The typefaces are constructed individually based on the different styles of each artist and they're all formed by different layers that add to the complexity of them. Bright colors, the use of shadows to create volume and the addition of little details are also part of each typeface for which you can also collaborate.

Take the example of Painter Kafeel. He is originally from Azamgarh, UttarPradesh but has lived in Delhi for almost 20 years. He’s been painting for even longer. Having never been to school, he moved to Delhi to become a street painter, establishing himself in labyrinth Old Delhi. Like other painters, he too has abandoned his brush for a computer. The font he created comes with 9 layers, which gives it a very unique Indian street look, with the use of vibrant hues, curved ornaments and interesting shapes for each letter.

In the project's website you can find a lot more example of other lettering painters, each and every one of them with a very distinct style. They vary from very geometrical looking typefaces to others that resemble more the handwritten versions of the traditional craft. Needless to say this is a very cool project that aims to preserve the nature of traditional Indian lettering in a very modern manner. Bringing their craft into the digital work makes it easier for people and designers everywhere to admire the complexity and beauty behind traditional Indian aesthetic.


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