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Multiple Perspectives, One Family: A Reflective Case Study of Anek

More often than not, the design discourse surrounding large multi-script type families is dominated by narratives from the global North. These narratives almost always begin with a Latin typeface designed by a singular designer, while other scripts and designers follow their lead.

The approach at Ek Type is an alternative, non-hierarchical one. Instead of starting with a single script, they design simultaneously for many of India’s scripts. Each designer works independently on their respective script and collaboratively on the type family as a whole. Ek Type’s collective design decisions are democratic, deliberative, and egalitarian.

They will be sharing broad outlines of their process through their latest multi-script variable type family—Anek. Designed by a team of twelve designers over eighteen months, Anek is a superfamily that supports ten commonly used scripts in India.


Noopur Datye

Noopur Datye is a type designer and calligrapher from Mumbai, India. A graduate of Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, she is one of the co-founders of Ek Type, a collaborative type foundry that designs type in eleven of the many scripts used in India. Datye primarily works with Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, and Gurmukhi scripts. Her work includes custom Bengali and Devanagari typefaces for television channels Star Jalsa and LifeOk, the open-source typefaces Mukta Vaani (Gujarati), Mukta Mahee (Gurmukhi), Baloo (Gujarati, Bangla), and Noto (Dogra, Gunjala Gondi, and Masaram Gondi). Datye’s work has won several awards, including the wooden pencil at D&AD and the Black Elephant at Kyoorius Design Yatra. It has been featured in “365 typo” and Typographica’s favorite typefaces of 2015 and 2016. Datye is an active member of Aksharaya, and regularly conducts workshops on calligraphy and letterform design at design schools and conferences in India.