Devanagari One /
Introduction to Devanagari script

Status: Closed
Class is full
5 weeks
Live and online
April 5–May 10, 2024
Tues and Fri @ 7:30pm

Explore the wonders of Devanagari letterforms. From hand-painted signs to modern printed letters, discover the rich typographic tradition of India 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 classes are devoted to understanding what happens when students move from sketches to a font editor — from manipulating 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 Devanagari letters 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

This course was very valuable for a beginner. Kimya is a great mentor and the course was structured very well. It was commendable to see how she fit a lot of the foundations of Devanagari type design in only five weeks.

Kritika Srivastava, Type Design Intern

Week 0 April 5 / Course introduction, lecture: an overview of the script and its evolution plus visiting lecture with Aashim Tyagi
Week 1 April 9 / Feedback session: hand-painted letters
April 10 / Optional: phonetics of Devanagari script
April 12 / Lecture: proportions, terminology, metrics, and the influence of tools
Week 2 April 16 / Feedback session: TypeCooker exercise
April 17 / Optional: basics of drawing good curves in Glyphs with Sol Matas
April 19 / Lecture: the type design process and state of Devanagari type design
Week 3 April 23 / Feedback session: missing letter exercise
April 26 / Demo: moving to a font editor
Week 4 April 30 / Feedback session: marks and conjuncts
May 3 / Lecture with visiting instructor Lipi Raval
Week 5 May 7 / Feedback session: the design brief and an initial word
May 10 / Lecture: expanding from idea to typeface and next steps
Tuesday classes are 2.5 hours. Friday classes are 1.5 hours.
Optional classes on Wednesdays, April 10 & 17, are 1.5 hours.
All classes begin at 7:30pm Mumbai / 4pm Berlin / 10am New York / Convert

Are classes recorded? →

The schedule is subject to modifications.

Student exercises from Devanagari One

After Devanagari One, take Two!

Introducing ... Devanagari Two! Where One introduces the script itself through the lens of type design, Devanagari Two takes the next step and students design their own Devanagari typeface. The two courses can be taken together or separately. Join our mailing list for updates about the new course!

Kimya Gandhi
Lead instructor
Mota Italic
Lipi Raval
Visiting instructor
Typeface designer
Aashim Tyagi
Visiting instructor
Multidisciplinary artist
What’s included
  • 24 total course hours
  • Live classes held over Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Lectures and regular feedback sessions
  • Two optional sessions
  • Ability to watch lectures again (lectures are live, but recorded)
  • Two guest lecturers
  • Access to our private Discord community
  • Free trial Glyphs license
  • Certificate of completion
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Enroll by March 31

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? →

This course is full and enrollment is closed.

What to be notified for the next edition?
✉️ Join our email list for updates.

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.

Please note that this course is an introduction to the script, which is a necessary precursor to creating a Devanagari typeface. Students will draw letters and work in a font editor, but they will not design a full typeface. Our new course, Devanagari Two, will cover that ground. Stay tuned for more details!

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. Assignments are given on Fridays, and should be completed by Tuesday before 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.

How do I earn the certificate?

You must attend 80% of the course live (not including optional classes), which translates to eight sessions.

Visit our FAQ page for more questions and answers →

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