The font across the 7 seas....guess??

ashwiny's picture

Has anyone talked about hindu/sanskrit types, and the way it can be expressed in the form of calligraphy, a painting, or a typeface, how many of you guys do know about sanskrit types, except the om??? ask me about it, or lets see if any of you on the other side of the world know this beautiful
let discuss gods own font!!!!

hrant's picture

God has a font? I just hope it's not Comic Sans.

Seriously, I'd love to learn more about Devanagari!


John Hudson's picture

The first thing to note is that Sanskrit is not only written using the Devanagari script. Most of the scripts of India have been used, at one time or another, to write Sansrkit, even if this means only transcribing from Devanagari texts into a local script. The most extensive examples of Sanskrit written in a script other than Devanagari are Tibetan. So it is something of a misnomer to talk about 'Sanskrit types'.

I have a request for anyone interested in Indic scripts and typography: does anyone have any samples of types -- in Devanagari or any other script -- cut by Ranoji Raoji Aru (1848-1922)? I have only one example, a Devanagari type, shown in Naik's Typography of Devanagari (Bombay, 1965), and would love to see more. Also can anyone confirm the truth of the legend that Ranoji Raoji Aru was illiterate and could not read the languages for which he cut such beautiful type?

seanglenn's picture

I have two pieces of Tibetan calligraphy (seed characters) tattooed on my upper arms, Vamh and Hum, which come from Siddham calligraphy (a written form of Sanskrit). There's a great book called Sacred Calligraphy of the East with descriptions and pictures of several of this calligraphic alphabets, along with notes on the religious significance of the characters themselves (each of my tattoos is the symbol of a buddha, being the Dainichi of the Diamond Realm and Ashuku - the Japanese name of the Immovable Buddha).

ashwiny's picture

i just read you review, i can find the book and the sample of type by Ranoji Raoji Aru although its quite tuff to source it.
talking about various other typography in devnagari, i can scan some and send you some beautiful font types, infact everyone can see it.

ashwiny's picture


Tibetian calligraphy although belongs to central asia, and is sourced from the oldest form of types, sanskrit, in some form or the other belongs to devnagari derived from sanskrit.

devnagari is the hindi, marathi font(2 dialect most used as a communication in india)other than these 2 languages, we have 26 other launguages which are spoken and written differently and have peculiar style of typography, but again derived from sanskrit.
the family tree is really vast:-)
i can show you some fonts, which may change your perception between japenese, tibetian and indian typography.

kentlew's picture

I studied Sanskrit for a number of years. Although I was never fluent in the grammar and my comprehension was slow and arduous, I could smoothly read/chant verses from the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutrani, and various slokas and mantras. Much of my ability, unfortunately, has atrophied through disuse.

Somewhere I have sketches for a couple of Devanagari designs, one based on the handwriting of my teacher (an American), and a Gujarati as well. But I never developed any of them into a font, as the prospect was quite daunting at the time. With the advent of OpenType and Unicode, this would probably be much more do-able than it was nine years ago.

-- Kent.

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