Art has always created a space where aesthetic can meet expression – and this space is evolving every day. With a great impetus from social media, every day, the art community challenges itself, uplifts itself and opens the space for new ideas. 36 Days of Type is one such project that took the art community on social media by storm in the last month. It invites designers, illustrators – and anyone else who wants to participate – to put their own spin on the English alphabet and the letter. A call for restless creativity, this project a 36-day journey of representing the same symbol with a thousand different perspectives. Many artists support their interpretations with certain themes, while others use every symbol to voice an issue important to them. This year, the project was from 2nd April to 7th May.
In the 36 days that this challenge urged every artist out there to rethink the alphabet, Indian artists have carved themselves an admirable space in terms of their contribution. From motion videos of typography to water-painting their interpretation of a number, the Indian art community has left no stone unturned in making the most of the 36 Days of type Challenge. Here’ s a look at seven Indian artists who designed the alphabet and the number in the remarkably creative ways:
I. SANDEEP JAISWAR
Sandeep uses the theme of smartphone addiction throughout his series. Each piece of typography symbolizes a different way we use our phones – from E for Exploring to J for Jealous. Colourful typography, almost electrical, blinks at you with an added bit of animation for each letter.
II. AMEYA NARVANKAR
Ameya puts the most unique spin on the alphabet. Each letter and each number is a pattern made out of foliage. Inspired by the affinity of the witches of the middle ages to forest, as Ameya tells the Scroll, he wished to use natural forms to develop his type craft. Leaves, twigs, hay, flowers – you name it, Ameya’s made an alphabet out of it.
III. ANUJA PITRE
In collaboration with besides.in, Anuja Pitre uses the 36 days of this challenge to talk a very important part of our current political climate: election symbols. Every letter of her project is, in fact, a symbol for a political party. Using her minimalistic typography and soothing colours, Anuja explores the history of political representation in the country. Every symbol finds the shadow of the alphabet in it, and each one has a unique story to tell.
IV. NORI NORBHU
Throughout the 36 days of Type, Nori explores the intricacies of a phobia – something that is talked about so little in our society, but affects so many people. Using the template of the long-forgotten stamp, Nori uses each letter to show a person who has overcome a phobia. In beautiful pastel colours and the nostalgia of a letter stamp, Nori displays the courage of overcoming a fear.
V. MEHEK MALHOTRA
Mehek brings home the taste of nostalgia her interpretation of the alphabet. Giving life to the ‘90s kid’ joke, every alphabet stands for a particular childhood memory. From A for Archie to H for harry potter – and much more, Mehek urges her followers to guess what each letter stands for. This brings comments with not only the answers, but also stories from childhood. On Mehek’s Instagram, you’ll find 36 days of nostalgia, represented each day in wonderful typography.
VI. SHWETA SHARMA
For an artist, art is, after all an outlet. Shweta Sharma uses her interpretation of the type for just that – an outlet to illustrate and write about her feelings. Each type is a symbol for an emotion that Shweta represents in a letter or a number. In unusual colours and shapes, the illustrations often step past the boundaries of the ordinary. With a little note to accompany each emotion, there is something to take away from every type that Shweta presents.
I. RESHMA SRINIVASAN
Reshma combines her love for food and art in her own version of the 36 days of type – a series of Indian food items, by the letter! Using water paint as her medium, Reshma illustrates food that reminds her of home. C for Chai, G for Golgappe, D for Dosa – in warm tones and homely hues, every illustration is unique.
Throughout the 36 days, the challenge saw over 600,000 thousand participants from all over the world, each illustration different from the next. Of course, the challenge is not restrained to illustrations – many participants sculped the letters out of clay, others crafted the alphabet out of objects. Artists pushed their own limits in reimagining typography, but that is not all. They also attributed a certain personal element to each letter, binding them in a theme. Each letter stood for something personal to an artist, and let them explore it in ways they had never done before. 36 Days of Type was a worldwide project in creativity, interpretation and the freedom of expression. Check out the hashtag #36daysoftype on social media to find your favourite piece of typography!
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