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Verve People
May 24, 2018

Type Cast: Aditi Deo

Text by Tina Dastur

A self-trained typographer, who works mainly with ink and pens, Aditi Deo finds lettering and calligraphy to be just as engaging and communicative as art

Aditi Deo

“I’ve always had a thing for letters. When my kindergarten teacher wrote the letter ‘a’ in cursive on the blackboard for the first time, I was just so taken by her penmanship. From thereon, anything with letters — especially hand lettering — has always fascinated me,” says 44-year-old graphic designer Aditi Deo, adding, “I love the way you can build beautiful shapes using a pointed pen to write in Engrosser’s Script or even a flat brush to make classic Roman letters.” Deo, a self-trained typographer, who works mainly with ink and pens, finds herself attracted to vintage letters and classic handmade fonts as well as historic scripts like Celtic, Old English Hand and Fraktur. Speaking about her personal style, she expands, “It’s pretty fluid. I primarily use a lot of classic calligraphic forms. At any given point, I’ll first choose to work in Copperplate scripts. That practice has helped me develop a good sense of composition and balance between letters and embellishments. But I also enjoy making modern letterforms that are more casual and deliberately imperfect.” Type has such an overarching influence on how words are perceived that Deo believes that “if you read a statement in Baskerville, you are more likely to believe it to be true rather than if you read it in Arial. The Pune-based designer, who is presently working on publishing her book titled The Definitive Starter Guide to Hand Lettering, says she would like to see a greater emphasis on good handwriting in schools. “I’ve observed that in India, like many things related to design, we are a little inert towards typography. We don’t really have a rich, vibrant heritage in lettering as the West does. As for myself, I have found lettering and calligraphy just as engaging and communicative as art. There is so much you can say with just a swish or a flourish,” she mulls.

Top Picks
Type artists whose work you enjoy… Suzanne Cunningham (@suzcunningham) for pointed pen calligraphy and John Stevens (@calligraphile) for his? brush lettering

Preferred design tools…pointed pen, oblique holder, ink and Sakura Micron pens

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