Indian, Regional & Latin: A Type Foundry With A Dual Perspective On Visual Heritage

Indian, Regional & Latin: A Type Foundry With A Dual Perspective On Visual Heritage
(L) Sindhura Ravindra ; Universal Thirst (R)

Our identities, though intangible, seep through various aspects of our lives and present themselves overtly –– it is only a matter of recognising them. In food, language, clothes, furniture, and more, there is so much potential to delve into them and find wondrous tales of our heritage.

One such aspect is type, and type foundry Universal Thirst highlights this as they work with Indic and Latin fonts. Their work brings out the diverse nature of scripts and languages in wonderfully creative ways.

Found in 2016 by Gunnar Vilhjálmsson and Kalapi Gajjar, Universal Thirst borrows its name from a 1937 type specimen from the Swadesi foundry in Madras. It said that there existed a ‘universal thirst’ for high-quality Indian and Latin typefaces that could be combined, and this is the lack that they aim to fulfil. They are based in Bengaluru as well as in Reykjavík.

Visual components such as type reveal much of our heritage to us. Universal Thirst, as much as it is about the art of type, also feels like an entity that helps us familiarise ourselves with Indian roots. The Universal Thirst Gazette also gives us deep insights into the past, present, and future of type and its place in society.

The fact is that type surrounds us but rarely do we realise its significance. From your local newspaper-wala to typefaces of large brands, they all hold vast meaning and intentions. Beautifully recognising the need for representation of Indian and regional languages, as well as Latin type, Universal Thirst does a job that we appreciate. Letting us in on our own culture and identity through fonts and types, all while remaining creative is a large ask, but they deliver wholly.

Find Universal Thirst here.

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