EP 18 . 01 Jun 17

Understanding fonts and typefaces

With Prof. Mahendra Patel

In the episode

  • What is the difference between a font-family and a typeface?
  • Is comic sans really an ugly font?
  • How does one define/gauge/comment that a particular font is bad and good?
  • Every typeface has a particular emotion. Is there any other way to feel the mood of that typeface?
  • A lot of times, in a given context of a word or typography, 2 letters are mathematically equidistant but they feel to be visually off. Why does that happen? What is the way to correct them?
  • What are the challenges of designing a font for Indian scripts?
  • Why do we always have these serif and san-serif font pairs?
  • Any suggestions to spread the importance of Typography, especially to designers so they get inspired to design fonts and typefaces for the Indian context?

About Prof. Mahendra Patel

Prof. Mahendra Patel is a retired senior faculty member of the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member at SID & MIT-ID, Pune, and a consultant with The Leaf Design, Mumbai. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda and at NID, followed by a degree in Advance Graphic Design at School of Design, Basel, Switzerland. In 1971, He went on to work on type design projects at Atelier Frutiger, Paris.
He has worked on type design development projects in Devanagari, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil scripts. He now plans to work on Matching Font Design Family across all 9 major Indian scripts. He has designed detailed Tourist and Bus-route Maps, Guide Maps, Irrigation & Ecology Maps, and Industrial & Archaeological Maps. He has designed the Signage Design System for Tirupati and Hyderabad City.

He has taught at NID, Ahmedabad for a long 39 years – and conducted numerous workshops at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda; MICA, Ahmedabad; IDC-IIT, Mumbai, Srishti, Bangalore, and many more. He has also conducted numerous workshops at universities of repute in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Pakistan. Prof. Mahendra Patel received the prestigious Gutenberg Award for the year 2010 by The International Gutenberg Society, Mainz, Frankfurt, Germany for his work on “Type Design Development of Indian Scripts and Map & Signage Design Systems for several cities” is a first for any Indian.