HandpaintedType is a project headed by Hanif Kureshi dedicated to preserving the typographic practice of street painters around India. These painters, with the advent of local DTP (Desktop Publishers) shops, are rapidly going out of business with many of them switching to the quicker, cheaper but uglier vinyls. Many painters have given up their practice altogether.
The project involves documenting the typefaces of road side painters across India and digitizing it so that it serves as a resource for present and future generations.
Artist Highlight: Painter Kafeel
Painter Kafeel, 45, is originally from Azamgarh, UttarPradesh but has lived in Delhi for almost 20 years. He’s been painting for even longer. Having never been to school, he moved to Delhi to become a street painter, establishing himself in labyrinth Old Delhi. Like other painters, he too has abandoned his brush for a computer.
The Anatomy of a Painter Kafeel Font
Because most of the fonts in the Painter series are multi-coloured, they will in effect be digital versions of the once popular Chromatic Type. The style was popular among wood block printers who produced fonts in two components, so each component has its own colour. Instead of different weights, the typefaces will feature versions that include Shadow and Highlights. Here’s how it works:
HandpaintedType is a collaborative project. If you’d like to contribute or collaborate, please get in touch.