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Published: 25 Sep 2012

Handpainted Type: Saving India’s Type Heritage


A new project by the creative director of US advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy’s New Delhi outpost sees the preservation of India’s rich handpainted signage and street artists, which are currently threatened by digital printing technology.

New Delhi-based creative Hanif Kureshi noted how local businesses in the country’s capital were foregoing traditionally handpainted signs – which provide so much of India’s colourful visual identity – in favour of more modern, digitally produced designs and type. As both an online resource for documenting signage and painted works and as a resource to reproduce designs and type digitally, The HandPainted Type project aims to keep this artful tradition alive.

Typefaces for sale through the site supplement both the original painter and the not-for-profit organisation. First up on the site was an alphabet and symbols set by 45-year-old painter Kafeel from Old Delhi, whose bold red, green and yellow font highlights the best of Indian street-painting culture.

For more signage and typography in architecture and public spaces, see our report on Anamorphic Typography.


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