Tag Archives: Typography


Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog | Interviews

25 January 2018

Interview with Artist: Niteesh Yadav

Meet Niteesh, an engineering drop out who now lives and breathes Typography.

Niteesh Yadav


Inspiro India:  How did you get started? What first got you into Typography? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Niteesh Yadav: My journey has been a bit different from the usual ones. I am an engineering dropout (second year) who started working as a self-taught designer initially and then after working for a while I decided to join college. From then I have been moving along with the life of a student and simultaneously working as a Design Consultant, looking after a Design division of a startup as well as working on freelance projects. The best part of this journey is the people I have worked with right from the beginning.

The love for illustrating letters and quotes got me into studying and exploring more about type. I used to draw a lot of letters and after a certain time, I started to realize that though they look good something is still missing and to fill that gap of making it better, I started to dig in deeper to learn about the technical aspects of Typography. Things that make a letter look more pleasing to eyes, this was the beginning and that learning is still going on.


Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of illustration? Any challenges you faced as an artist Designer?

NY: From the past two years, my work has been typing oriented but I am in my exploration phase of trying new styles and mediums to express my ideas. Started as an Interface designer then explored my way into print and packaging and now working with type and illustrations. Soon you might find me experimenting with some unconventional and bizarre mediums as well.

Working as a Graphic Designer, the first and foremost challenge is to get in sync with the client and vice versa. Resonating at the same frequency is very important otherwise the whole project might go back and forth. Another thing which we face is variable project requests, sometimes a lot of project requests bombard at the same time and we have to prioritize which ones to accept (choosing the right ones is a task in itself.) Also, you find yourself standing in the Thar Desert at times waiting for that one project but treat it as a golden period of refreshment, start your own personal project or just take a break to rejuvenate your creative juices.


Elephant Type


Inspiro India: What are the tools you can’t live without? Can you please explain your work process?

NY: All I need is a pencil and a paper! I am fond of getting my hands dirty as it is way faster. You can just do it on the run while eating on a tissue. We never know when the idea might pop in. Once the ideas are sorted then only I hit the screen to design it digitally. When you make things physically, there is a strong bond that is established. How often that smile comes on your face when you go through your old drawing books and now compare that same thing with an old folder on your desktop.

In my projects, I follow a structure which starts from receiving a brief from the client or to make one based on the client’s request (This happens a lot while working with Indian clients). Next step is to do an extensive research to put the pieces together and get a clear picture of the project and an approach to it. Then its time to pick up the pencil, our WMC (weapon of mass creation), sketching several ideas then finalizing which ones to share with the client. I restrict the number of concepts since as Designers we are supposed to use our expertise to help people and not to confuse them. One final approach is decided, I move on to refinement and iteration phase (limited iteration mentioned in the agreement). This phase includes feasibility testing of ideas and many designers ignore this but I have learned that it is a crucial one as impossible is possible on screen. People use mockups blindly on the web to just showcase to the clients and without even knowing their feasibility, the clients are usually awestruck at that time but face problems later while trying to execute them.

I recall a project, Identity design of a new line of a Fashion House for which I sat down in their workshop working with the people to test the feasibility of selected designs using different embroidery techniques. Finally, after working for several hours we figured out a way to make it work from design and execution perspective. If a design doesn’t serve its purpose then it is a waste.


Inspiro India: Is studying illustration in college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

NY: Rather than just focusing on illustrations right from the beginning I would recommend, if you are enrolling in College then start with Design as a broad sphere then explore your interests and qualities to decide on your specialization. This will help you out in framing your goals. If you are sure that you want to get into illustration then start practising and try to expose yourself to as many styles as possible as well as other people’s work which is going to help you out in expanding your knowledge about the immense possibilities. As illustrations are not just about the pencil, paper, watercolours etc., it’s your medium of expression and how you take it forward creates your style. Art or Design college is a place where you are exposed to a lot of things, there are no set books or hard guidelines. It’s you who is supposed to absorb that information and explore further.  The only alternative I can think of is your dedication and handwork.


Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being an illustrator?

NY: I mostly refrain from using the word illustrator as very small part of my work is illustrations. The thing I like when I am illustrating is the amount of freedom I have to express the ideas which are sometimes very limited while working on regular design projects that have very rigid client briefs.


Inspiro India: What did you want to become during your childhood?

NY: I wanted to join the army but as I grew up I went on being more inclined towards creative stuff and now I am on my small little crusade of making useful things to fight bad designs and help people with my work.


Inspiro India: Can you explain to our readers a bit about your ‘Dream Big Project’ on an elephant?

NY: ‘Type on Elephant’ is one of my ‘close to heart piece’ as it was a whole new experience for me. I had spent a significant amount of time with the elephant observing their behaviour and the best way we can be around them so they don’t feel uneasy.  All that helped me a lot in working on it and there was not even a single moment when I felt scared.

It is part of India Through Type Series that aims to bring out some unique and interesting aspects of India through Typography based experiments. It also focusses on some important aspects such as dying crafts which are in dire need of being brought into the limelight. Simply talking about these and putting forward the same old stuff will not work as it has been tried several times in the past. So this is the reason I am working on creating a new experience for these things.


Inspiro India: What are you passionate about besides your work?

NY: I am really fond of travelling and exploring more about people,  culture and especially places which are close to nature. This is the reason I have been working remotely for the past couple of months and moving around.


Artwork by ©Niteesh Yadav


Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? Some creative tips you’d like to share?

NY: Do what you love and give your 100% to it! There are times when you are working where you won’t get full freedom to create things of your choice. Develop a habit of working with guidelines.

To let your creative juices flow, work on some self- initiated projects as they are going to help you in creating things where you have full freedom and control over what you are doing but always have a purpose why you are doing it. It can be “just to make myself happy.” What it does is that you will never feel that you have wasted your time at any point in time.


Follow Niteesh: Instagram | Website


Check out his full feature in Oct’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#32 – Download Free.



Submit your work for upcoming issue of Inspiro India Magazine

Inspiro India Official

Art | Blog

13 June 2017

The A-Z of a playlist | Type Series by Anushka Tendolkar

Anushka Tendolkar is a 20 year old communication design student with a keen interest in graphic design and is very passionate about photography. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Anushka has been in love with her city and all that it has to offer. She believes the city has made her the kind of person who just can’t sit idle because there’s so much to do and so little time. She always keeps her occupied by doing something or the other, trying to make the most of her day,everyday. Currently she is trying to experiment with her photography style and also get back into the habit of reading!


36 days of type is a worldwide challenge where designers and artists around the world recreate the 26 letters of the English alphabet and 0-9 numbers however they like it. Anushka was headstrong about taking up the challenge this year and decided to work with a theme which she just randomly decided would be her music playlist! Over the last couple of years, she has been introduced to some really great music and she thought it would be something she would enjoy doing throughout the challenge. Most of them were rock artists since rock is her favourite genre.



Anushka decided to do A-Z on her playlist excluding the numbers and posted them every day on Instagram for 26 days. She says it did get tough to keep up in the middle but everyone on her Instagram profile appreciated the project so much that it really kept her going. People were waiting for the next one every day and that made her really happy too. The best part she says was she would tag the artists for each letter and she actually got some recognition from the band ‘The script’ who started following her and liked her work; even ‘The Zombies’ reposted one of her letters on their official page so that was a really big deal for her.


The challenge was also a great learning process for her because she did get better at her skills by doing it every single day. Anushka usually sketches out what she visualises and then renders it digitally. So for most of these letters she had a rough sketch of how she wanted it to look and then went ahead with the digital part but some of them were just pure mix and match till they looked okay to her. All of them have been made by her on Adobe Photoshop. The series took Anushka a month to finish, since it was a letter a day with some delay here and there due to other commitments.


Anushka takes inspiration from everything and everyone around her. She does not have one idol as such because there are so many things to learn from so many people and places. But she says she is really Inspired by the idea of being so good at whatever she does that she gets actually recognised for her work while she is alive and hopefully makes a lot of money and buys herself tickets to wherever she wants to travel whenever she wants. Nevertheless, she wants to work hard like her parents and just be able to live life exactly the way she wants.

Words by Arvind Vairavan
Type Series by ©Anushka Tendolkar

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Inspiro India

Art | Blog | Interviews

1 June 2017

Interview with Lettering Artist : Chandan Mahimkar

Meet Chandan Mahimkar, who started designing posters for inter school competitions & info charts, diagrams for his school science lab. And didn’t know much about lettering back then.


Chandan Mahimkar


Inspiro India: How did you get started? What first got you into Lettering? Tell us a bit about yourself.

– It all started during my school days while designing posters for inter school competitions & info charts, diagrams for our school science lab. I didn’t know then that lettering was some form of art. I joined Sir J.J.Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai’ to pursue my formal training in art, advertising & design. After getting my B.F.A. Degree in Applied Art, I got into advertising and since then I have worked with top ad agencies like FCB-ULKA, Grey Worldwide, DDB Mudra. Creating ad campaigns for renowned brands and working on prestigious design projects for key clients like Amul, TCS, British Airways, IDFC, Ceat, Cricket Rating, Wipro and Kotak Mahindra to
name a few.
For the past decade, I have been with L&K Saatchi & Saatchi (formerly Law & Kenneth).The entrepreneurial spirit of this company has helped me create a specialist design division ‘Design L&K Saatchi & Saatchi’ where I serve as a Chief Creative Officer. Besides advertising, I help my brands by being their Design Strategist and create Corporate Identities, Packaging & Retail Design, Environmental Graphics, Coffee Table books and Brand Experiences.


Inspiro India: How would you best describe your style of Lettering? And the challenges you faced as an lettering artist?

– Personally, I love many unique lettering styles, but I practice clean, contemporary & contextual lettering. My style is a fusion of classic & contemporary. I use it for design projects as well as commissioned lettering projects. On the other hand, I also use it as a medium of art through my #letteringonsunday project on Instagram. There are hundreds of renowned artists & beginners who share that same passion and have been contributing to this idea ever since.

The challenge for me is to not get trapped in a particular style of lettering. I love to experiment using different styles. The beauty of hand lettering is that it is organic, unique and has imperfections which makes it visually very attractive. Since past 2 years, hand lettering has re -entered the world of graphic art &design as a wildly popular & sought after skill. The challenge, therefore, is also how can one set oneself apart from the countless styles flooding today’s market.



Inspiro India: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? Can you please explain about your work process?

– Frankly, I am not fussy about tools. It just depends on what I have in mind on that day & the particular style I want to create. However, a simple 0.5mm HB lead pencil, a set of Kohinoor’s artist quality pencils, a good quality eraser, a Uniball 0.7 black pen, a thick black marker, a steel scale, a good quality A3 tracing paper pad and an artist quality A3 thick white paper pad is my basic tool kit when I start any fresh lettering piece.
I follow this simple process –
1. Think of words, quotations that best capture my idea and express them through lots of small scribbles.
2. Develop it in an actual size lettering on paper and then use tracing papers to fine-tune the piece.
3. Decide on the paper, material, colours & tools to be used for final execution.
4. Start creating the final piece in my studio. One very important aspect is that I only do my final hand lettering during the day in natural light. It helps me to judge colours, finesse & depth. However there are times when I recreate the entire piece if I am not happy with the result.
5. Photographing the final piece in natural light, adding few props & tools to make it look as organic as possible. Or put my hand lettering on to one of my favourite images (clicked by me) in Photoshop, lettering juxtaposed against a photo is a great way to add meaning to your art.


Inspiro India: Is studying typography & lettering in art college worth the cost or do you recommend an alternative?

– Art School is of great help to get your basics right, learning graphic design & colours is a must before learning lettering & typography. Also, a competitive environment helps you judge your progress and keeps improving your skills. Most important part is to practice, it will develop your skills like nothing else. While learning, don’t bother about tools as they do not help in improving your craft. Even a simple HB pencil and eraser should be enough. In this era of getting hooked on to design softwares focusing on working with your hands, tools and paper is a good thing. Enough books & online courses are available for learning this skill if you can’t join an art school. Copying other artists may be fun, but never helpful. Practising regularly helps you become aware of your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses. Don’t be in a hurry to develop your own lettering style when you are learning.



Inspiro India: Can you explain a little about detailing in your Hand Lettering?

– A meaningful word or quotation will always be important in creating any piece of hand lettering. I love simplicity & clean styling, touch of classic lettering styles helps me add depth and character. Choosing the right lettering style to express the meaning of words is a very important part of lettering, scribbles & tracings will help you gauge that.


Inspiro India: What did you want to become as a child ? Three things you like other than Art ?

– Very early on, I wanted to join the Indian defence force, for which I studied in a Military school for 2 years. Fortunately they had a great drawing teacher who helped me hone my skills. The school got a lot of discipline & time management into my personality. Besides art I love music, live concerts, movies, travel & teaching.



Inspiro India: What do you enjoy most about being a designer/hand letterer?

– My role as a CCO for Design L&K Saatchi & Saatchi helps me travel to interesting places, collaborate with talented photographers, designers, illustrators and like-minded client partners. Hand lettering has given me the opportunity to work with some of the world’s best design & lettering curators.


©Chandan Mahimkar


Inspiro India: What advice would you as an artist give to other creative heads out there? And some creative tips you’d like to share?

– Developing a hobby & pursuing it is a great way to rejuvenate & refresh your thinking. Taking your profession too seriously & treating it like a job kills creativity. Travel, meet people, go out and experience things yourself. Creativity lies in doing crazy things, trust your madness. Whatever you believe in, start now! Good things never come to those who wait.


Check out his full feature in March’16 Edition of Inspiro India Magazine issue#27 – Download Free.



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