Type Cast: Pooja Saxena
“I have always been really drawn to Indian languages and scripts. There weren’t typefaces in Indian scripts that one had ready access to, and yet there were gorgeous signs in local languages wherever I travelled. This dichotomy pulled me into a fascinating world of not just design but also history and technology that I never quite left,” explains 29-year-old designer Pooja Saxena, who holds an MA in typeface design from the University of Reading, UK. Although she doesn’t work on brand collaborations, she has, in the past, designed the logo for the Chennai-based Coovum Art Festival. Because it was a bilingual identity that she was creating in both English and Tamil, with the festival’s art director Vidisha Saini, type played a pivotal role. “We took the route of custom lettering to create a logo that was style-matched in both scripts, yet unique. In a country like India where so many different languages and scripts are used, the availability of typefaces in local scripts plays a huge role in how people interact. More specifically, choosing the right type helps companies to fine-tune their message, by showing that they pay attention to detail,” says the Delhi-based designer. Saxena is currently in the process of launching her very own e-shop, which will retail stationery, prints, and bags in her signature style, and is simultaneously planning new lettering walks in Delhi, one of which will happen at Kashmere Gate and offer an insight into type history alongside the stalwarts of early Western type. “If one is a graphic designer, one has got to learn about type. It is one of the building blocks,” insists Saxena.
Prefer hand-drawn or the use of software…. Whatever the brief demands
An Instagram type artist whose work you enjoy…Alphabettes (@alphabettes_org)
Preferred design tools…Notebook, pencil, laptop
Indispensable to my work…my ergonomic chair