Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Password reminder


Personal tools
Password reminder
You are here: Home / Conferences / Amsterdam 2013 / Presentation programme

How an Indo-Aryan language based script is developed on purely circular grid! Is it cultural influence or practicality constraint?

When Wed 09 Oct 1515
Where Krasnapolsky A
What Non-Latin
Who Paresh Choudhury

By fact of Ethnologies, there are around 7000 numbers of languages spoken in world and out of that there is a list of 415 ‘living languages’ used alone in India. Although all of them do not have writing system and some of them use modified forms of existing writing systems. In India we have 10 basic scripts. They are Urdu, Assamese / Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Gujurati, Devnagari / Hindi and Gurumukhi/Punjabi. However, Indo-Aryan language based scripts comprise Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Odiya, Marathi, and Punjabi. Odiya script has a very low profile presence in the list among all Indo-Aryans, but it has very distinct characteristic for its simplicity look that should not be over looked. My project will focus upon insights into this script in particular to reveal something new way of looking at it with adequate comparison to all of its counterparts. Oriya script consists of rounded shapes or absolutely made of a circular grid which is very unique and ingenuous. Historian says, that is because of the ancient Odiya writing process was being scratched on palm-leave manuscripts by means of a sharp stylus. Practically it was easier to write rounded strokes as there was risk of tearing the leaf in case of straight strokes. As a designer I have downright different outlook. I have gathered enough visual evidence to justify this is totally cultural motivation. In my illustrative visual oriented presentation I would establish the logic behind the fact. Though, the early development of this vernacular script was made of straight lined strokes. But in course of time it took a shape of circle. Oriya culture is very wide in terms of its variety, starting from Odissi Dance to various medieval Temple sculptures & motives, Palm leaf manuscripts with engraved miniature illustrations to Pata-Chitra, Car-festival of Lord Jagannath to Pipili Appliqué works and Silver filigree works to some typical Odiya fast foods. Eventually the inventory is endless. One thing is clear to me; there was strong presence of a form which is nothing else but a circle. Remarkably, in the outdoor and environmental scenario the Oriya typography looks different with lot of visual entities also. At the end as a design academician I would have dialogue how we can implement those cultural aspects into contemporary type design with respect to ‘Point Counter Point’ as the region neither does have design education nor design world’s passable contribution.

Back to the programme