The Typecraft Project: Chittara (Karnataka)

The Typecraft Initiative is a self-initiated and self-funded project that aims to create — 29 display typefaces from 29 languishing crafts — one from each state of India. Each typeface is made from a craft which belongs to a specific region, material, process and context. This Typecraft is made out of Chittara (from the state of Karnataka) which uses clay paste to make geometric patterns on the floors and walls of the entrance of one's home.

Your Purchase of the Godna Tattoo Typeface will enable us to work on more such projects. All funds acquired from the sale of the typeface is used to fund future Typecraft projects. Thank you.

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.

The last image depicts the vectorized version of this typeface. Vectorization allows users to change all sorts of attributes such as color, gradient, drop shadow and much more! We are seeking CSR funds to make this into a full-fledged typeface (.otf) anyone can type this using any keyboard enabled device.

Project Initiated by Ishan Khosla Deisgn
Drawing Chittara letter-forms: Radha Sullur, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India (contact details can be provided on request)
Concept, Co-ordination, Cleaning up and Vectorization of the letters: Ishan Khosla Design, New Delhi, India
Type Design: Andreu Balius, Barcelona, Spain

***The Typecraft Initiative: Chittara, has been published in India Contemporary Design: Fashion | Graphics | Interiors, by Divia Patel (Victoria & Albert Museum)

***The Typecraft Initiative: Chittara selected for the Tokyo Type Director's Club Award 2015, it will be published in the Tokyo TDC Annual Awards Book

*The Typecraft Initiative is a finalist in the 2013 Kyoorius Awards in the Design-Craft: Typography category.