Jan 31, 2009


A few months ago I attended Multiverso, Icograda Design Week at Torino- 3 days of workshop and a 2 day conference. The workshop I signed up for was called "Afrikan Alphabets" with Saki Mafundikwa. We had to create letterforms inspired from Afrikan writing systems.

I chose a Jokwa pictogram that tells the story of life.

image from Saki Mafundikwa's book Afrikan Alphabets

This was my character set at the conference.

Was reworking it this week. Here are sketches+w.i.p
I know it looks like a kolam, but that *points to jokwa pictogram* was my reference point.
Fine and also kolam.
(international integration I call it)

I'm still missing K, Y, X. It still needs a LOT of fixing in terms of form, but this is where it's generally heading.

Feedback please!

* * *
feb 16

R suggested the possibility of the characters being open like the jokwa pictogram as opposed to the closed loops that they are now. This was a doodle amongst many before choosing which direction to proceed in.

With this one, I was trying to go with a more squarish form as in the jokwa, while keeping the open ends to add some interest. BUT, we decided on the kolam-like one since it was more do-able in the given time.



jazzlamb said...

looks varry cool.i wanna see the final thing. How long is the workshop?

Shreyas said...

was 3 days. i hadnt finished it then. Then the laptop got stolen, so those files went with that. So redoing it now :(

woenvu said...

reminds me of cells, with their nuclei at the centre. :)

Shreyas said...

well, yes, I felt that way when i was drawing out the D

woenvu said...

rotate the D 90 degrees to the left and put two eyes on it, and it looks like a mounted cow from the world of Hello Kitty.

graphic_mantra said...

hi.. great exploration.
figured out the 'K'

shall upload tomorrow

Alice In Wonderland said...


i jhaast saw ur blog!! can u believe it! so long since its been up!

btw cant wait to meet ur sketchbooks in person! :)

about the font, the form that u've taken inspiration from - it is not a closed loop. since its a story-of-life thing doesn't that potenially add a twist in the tale.
in fact it might give you some elbow room on the more complex forms like B, which ,frankly, have me stumped with the cell division method as i call it.

any particular reasons why you decided to constrain urself to closed loop?

Alice In Wonderland said...

i jhaast saw ur blog!! can u believe it!
i cant wait to meet ur sketchbooks in person!

but- about the font, the form that u've taken inspiration from - it is not a closed loop.

so was it ur 'design decision' to close 'er up? i'm sure it was, but i'm wondering why!

cos the way i see it, considering that it is a story-of-life thing, the whole open endedness of it could not only be more meaningful, but will also give u more elbow room while making toughies like the B, and the lower case.

of course, then it'll stop resemblng kolam!

Shreyas said...

womygaaaad. I had to spot the differences between the almost same multiplecomments you left!

anyway getting to the point... True the jokwa isn't exactly a closed loop. I DID try something along those lines in my initial explorations, but since it was a 3 day workshop (day 3 was for digitising, so effectively one day to come up with actual set), Saki decided that I should go with this one since the group was more fascinated by the kolamlike thing, and it was more do-able given the time constraint.

I'm adding the other exploration to this post, have a lookie.

PS- yes, sketchbooks will be tagged along to NID in a few weeks :)

Alice In Wonderland said...

hmm ignore the extraneous comment... the net here blah blah... i thot it hadnt loaded n tried to retype it from memory, hence the rephrased shite :P

so u actually have digitised version?! thats fing cool!!

Shreyas said...

wellll...the digitised one was on the laptop. and laptop got stolen.
I didn't have italy ka kaam backed up, so that's effed.

Cat-on-the-moon said...

The kolam font reminds me of anchovies.The ideas very very cool though. Whyd u pick,any particular reason?Thats where the anchovies bit comes in.
Did u try nais treditional white n black open ended?
speaking of which,I just discovered the generic tamil bit in me when i spontaneously drew mini kolams in mess during Pongal.Guess all those school-day competitions in KG stay somewhere in u.:)
o nostaligiaaaa.

Shreyas said...

this like all those other many many things i described to you today, is work in progress. I'm in perpetual state of transit, need to "fineeeesh" as the boss says in shivaji. (whattey style).

haaha kaveri kolamed eh? Ab had much difficulty last year. :P