The Typecraft Initiative’s digital typeface based on Godna tattoos: Working with tribal women artists – Chhattisgarh

Rites of Passage | To view more photos and read the full text, click here >>

In general, women have a strong connection with the idea of a “vital cycle” not only as life givers, care-takers of children and the home; and their own monthly menstrual cycles. Some women, especially those from the tattoo community within the Gond tribe have a strong connection to the rites of passage — which are marked by the application of a certain godna tattoo motif on a specific part of the body — to mark the entrance into a new phase of life (such as puberty or pregnancy), for a woman. The motif and the placement varies according to the tribe they are inscribing the tattoo on. Baiga tribe motifs vary for instance, from Bhil tribes. That the tattoos are mainly done by women on women is another strong connection they have to the cycle of life.

Similarly, both Chittara and Mithila art was traditionally painted on the walls and floors outside the home — according to the season, festival or special occasion (for instance, marriage) by the lady of the house. The motifs (in the case of Chittara) and the subject matter (in the case of Mithila) reflect the changing of seasons and represent the different stages of life — from birth to death. […]

The over-arching idea for each new typecraft, is, to challenge both the craftsperson and ourselves as designers. The aim is to be able to engage and work with a number of forms of craft and tribal art from all parts of the country — that are made with varying materials for different purposes and a diverse set of meanings associated with the craft or tribal art.

Since I work a lot in the cultural sector, my goal is to include the completed typefaces from, The Typecraft Initiative, into these projects and also have more and more people and state governments use the these typefaces. It is only then that the project will be successful and can make a bigger impact.

Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 18:30:42 GMT+0100 (CET)

Godna” typeface © Typecraft Initiative
More about tattoo, fashion and design >>

Godna typeface | To view more photos and read the full text, click here >>
Godna is a display typeface based on Gond tribal tattoo drawings.
For this edition of the project, we engaged with three tribal women artists — Ram Keli, Sumitra and Sunita — who belong to the Gond tribe of Chhattisgarh in Central India. These and other women from this tribe etch tattoos onto the Baiga and other tribal women. […]
All the drawings and artworks are completely done by them and we never drew anything for the artists except as part of the instruction.

Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 18:51:25 GMT+0100 (CET)

Image: “Chittara” typeface © Typecraft Initiative >>

Chittara| To view more photos and read the full text, click here >>
Chittara originated from ancient cave paintings and eventually found its way to the walls and floors of village homes. The Kannada word Chittara (which is related to chittra) means creating an image or drawing. Historically, the artform has been practiced by women of the Deevaru community in the Sagar district of Karnataka, where these images were painted on auspicious occasions on the interiors and exteriors of the home. These paintings are a part of the family and community rituals associated with daily life and festive seasons.

This form is only done by the woman of the house to make the entrance auspicious and to welcome the gods. In this project we had to explain the rules of type design as well as how this specific artwork can be transformed into type. We intentionally let the artist, Radha Sullur, draw and paint all the letters herself.  […]

Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 18:54:23 GMT+0100 (CET)

Published December 2016 © 2016 Ishan Khosla Design, LLP
Research, Text and Design | Ishan Khosla
Ishan Khosla Design
Editor | Sheeba Bhatnagar
This report uses both Dutch and Indian typefaces.
Avenir by Adrian Frutiger
Baloo by Ek Type
Fedra Sans by Typotheque
Godna by Ram Keli, Sunita and Sumitra (from the tattoo tribal art community in Chhattisgarh, India) | Ishan Khosla Design LLP (concept, co-ordination,
vectorisation) | Andreu Balius (type design)
The Typecraft Initiative
Source: 27_02_17_DesignPataka_ABSOLUTE_FINAL_V3.pdf
Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 18:15:10 GMT+0100 (CET)
New guide to India’s design sector for Dutch creatives who want to cooperate. 
We are happy to present Design Pataka! The explosion of design in India: 2010 –2016. This long read will give culture professionals from the Netherlands insight into the Indian design sector. It is also a guide for creative Dutch  who want to reach out to their Indian counterparts for joint projects. We would like to express our gratitude to Delhi-based designer Ishan Khosla for researching, writing and compiling this comprehensive overview of Indian design.
For the passed 18 months we have worked hard to strengthen the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and India, specifically in the fields of design, games, photography and film. The goal was to build sustainable relationships between Indian and Dutch organizations and creatives and to boost opportunities for joint projects.  You will find more information about our activities in India here (Dutch).
Source: Road to Indian Design | Dutchculture | Centre for international cooperation
Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 18:59:00 GMT+0100 (CET)

Skin Deep: The Tale of India’s Tattoo Tradition

Sanchari Pal, The Better India, June 14, 2016 | To read the full article and view more photos, click here >>

Even among the tribes of western India, the craft of tattooing is revered, with tattoos having a close relation to secular and religious subjects of devotion. The Rabari women of Kutch have practised tattooing for decorative, religious, and therapeutic purposes for hundreds of years. A traditional Rabari tattoo kit is simple: a single needle and gourd bowl to hold the liquid pigment, which is made by mixing lamp soot with tannin from the bark of local trees. A small quantity of turmeric powder is also added to brighten the colour and to prevent swelling.

Source: The History Of India’s Tradition of Tattoos
Date Visited: Tue Mar 21 2017 19:15:53 GMT+0100 (CET)

The Typecraft Initiative is a self-initiated and self-funded project that aims to create — display typefaces from languishing crafts and tribal arts from each state of India. Each typeface is made from a craft or tribal art, which belongs to a specific region, material, process and context. | Learn more >>

Source: The Typecraft Project: Chittara (Karnataka) | Ishan Khosla Design
Date Visited: Mon Apr 24 2017 12:26:19 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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