École Intuit Lab, Kolkata founded in collaboration with the Techno India Group, a leader in education in Eastern India, held its annual exhibition – The Kolkata Design Fest on 2 and 3 June, 2023. In accordance with the core of bringing superior and cutting-edge in Art, Design and Creativity back to Kolkata, the Design Fest created a platform for the students to put forth their best to specialists invited from across the world.
Design Fest is marked by a chosen theme each year. In 2023, the theme was Typograph. Typography, though a permanent fixture of printed layout, has long remained the unsung hero of the design industry. It came into use after the invention of the printing press itself.
“For this year’s The Kolkata Design Fest, we wish to pay homage to the Indian scripts that are all around us all the time, whether we notice them consciously or not. Furthermore, we wish to expand this to scripts from all around the world from the more-recognised Latin script to the beautiful letterforms that often go unappreciated,” said Prof. Manoshi Roychowdhury, Co - Chairperson of Techno India Group.
For The Kolkata Design Fest, there were different rooms (labs) where exciting activities took place. In Lab 1, there was a section assigned to highlight the ‘type’ development process. Students explored ‘type’ the way it was done at its grassroot level - hand drawn and bespoke like the works of an Ancient Scribe. Lab 2 was the center where the next biggest development was actioned i.e. woodblock printing. Lab 3 depicted the crucial role in the development of art and design by portraying the revolutionary renaissance era, essentially post-printing press.
The post-graduate students at the final stage of their design education journey portrayed the last stage in the history of type till date and explored the digital age. Each lab explored different scripts and languages through the medium and looked at them. The languages being explored are the following:
Cyrillic - Cyrillic typography is an integral part of the Slavic heritage and culture. The Cyrillic alphabet was designed specifically for the Slavic languages, and it has been used to write many languages, including Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Belarusian.
India - Our Indian communities are connotated by language, with linguistic communities like Bengali and Marathi. India is a country with over 250 languages, majority of which come with well-formed scripts of their own.
Oriental - Oriental languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean have a rich historical and cultural context that has shaped their writing systems and design aesthetics. Understanding the origins and evolution of these languages can help you make informed design decisions. Oriental languages are often associated with calligraphy and brush strokes.
Latin - Latin letterforms are everywhere and continue to have their major moment under the sun even today. Being as omnipresent as they are, has resulted in pushing its boundaries to experiment further and further. For our explorations, we plan to truly understand the roots of the letterforms and how to manipulate them.
There were AR posters and Kinetic Typography of different languages with displays showcasing the animation in every room. The Kolkata Design Fest also had a dedicated room to showcase hackathon work.