Intro to Devanagari

Class is full
5 weeks
Live and online
Sept 8–Oct 13, 2023
Tues and Fri @ 7:30p

Explore the wonders of Devanagari letterforms. From hand-painted signs to modern printed letters, discover the rich typographic tradition of South Asia as expressed through the Devanagari script.

Students begin by learning about the structure and evolution of the script, and then experiment with making their own Devanagari letterforms through prompts and weekly assignments. Individualized feedback helps students improve the quality of their letters, but also develop their own ability to critically analyze Devanagari forms. The final weeks are devoted to understanding what is involved in making a Devanagari typeface — from initial idea, to Béziers, to an overview of the programming involved. By the end of the course, students will have a holistic overview of the Devanagari script and a foundation for creating their own Devanagari typeface.

What you’ll learn

Understanding of the construction and proportions of Devanagari letterforms

A visual survey of the past, present, and future of Devanagari letterforms

Creating new styles for Devanagari letterforms through several exercises

Introduction to drawing a Devanagari typeface in a font editor

Creating a brief for a new typeface project

Looking at how the script functions and the rendering of Devanagari in text input tools.
Week 0 Sept 8 / Course introduction, lecture: an overview of the script and its evolution
Week 1 Sept 12 / Feedback session: hand-painted letters
Sept 15 / Lecture: proportions, terminology, metrics, and the influence of tools
Week 2 Sept 19 / Feedback session: TypeCooker exercise
Sept 22 / Lecture: the type design process and state of Devanagari type design
Week 3 Sept 26 / Feedback session: missing letter exercise
Sept 29 / Demo: moving to a font editor
Week 4 Oct 3 / Feedback session: marks and conjuncts
Oct 6 / Lecture with visiting instructor
Week 5 Oct 10 / Feedback session: the design brief and an initial word
Oct 13 / Lecture: expanding from idea to typeface and next steps
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Friday classes are 1.5 hours.
Classes begin at 7:30pm Mumbai / 4pm Berlin / 10am New York / Convert

Are classes recorded? →

The schedule is subject to modifications.

Lini Thin by Kimya Gandhi

Kimya Gandhi
Lead instructor
Mota Italic
Parimal Parmar
Visiting instructor
Independant typeface designer
Aashim Tyagi
Visiting instructor
Multidisciplinary artist
What’s included
  • 21 total course hours
  • Live classes held over Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Lectures and regular feedback sessions
  • Ability to watch lectures again (lectures are live, but recorded)
  • Two guest lecturers
  • Access to our private Discord community
  • Free trial Glyphs license
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Enroll by Aug 23
$350 $280
$475 $380
$600 $480
Enroll by Sept 6

Tuition is on a sliding scale and you decide which tier you pay according to your means. No matter what tier you choose, the course is exactly the same. Fees are stated in US dollars.

Why is tuition on a sliding scale? →
Are there scholarships or other tuition help available? →

The course is full and
enrollment is closed.

Who is this course for?

Are you curious about the Devanagari script – its anatomy, construction, and design – and want to dip your toe into the type design process? Then this course is for you!

No prior experience with Devanagari is required, however a basic grasp of drawing in vector programs, like Illustrator or a font editor, is needed for most of the homework.

What will I need for the course?
  • Basic materials for sketching letters: pencils and paper or a sketchbook
  • Paint, a brush, and paper (a small amount of poster paint or paint of choice, a ¼” to ½” flat brush, plus a couple sheets of paper suitable for the paint)
  • Access to a printer is preferred but not necessary.
  • A font editor (like Glyphs or FontLab) or a vector drawing program (like Illustrator or Inkscape). Note: students will receive a free trial Glyphs license.
  • A Miro account (free)
  • Plus, the basics for joining an online class.
Do I need to use a font editor or a specific font editor?

All exercises can be done in a font editor or a vector drawing program. You can choose which tool is most comfortable for you. However, any demonstrations that happen in a font editor are shown in Glyphs.

How much time am I expected to work outside of class?

Students should expect to spend roughly two hours a week on homework or research outside of class.

Do I need a typeface, or a Latin companion at the start of the course?

Unlike some of our other classes, you don’t need anything created in advance.

How large is the class?

The maximum number of students is 24.

Are there scholarships or other tuition help available?

All Practica courses are offered on a sliding scale, which can reduce the amount of tuition a student pays.

We’re also offering three full tuition waivers for Intro to Devanagari, but the deadline to apply has passed. Recipients will be notified on August 28, 2023 by email and must accept their spot by the end of the day on August 30, 2023.

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