EP 189 . 19 Aug 20

Satyajit Ray; The Graphic Designer

With Pinaki De

In the episode

This episode is brought to you by MUBI, a curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Get a whole month free! – at mubi.com/audiogyan. MUBI showcases a wide range of iconic Satyajit Ray films! Ray, is also our topic of discussion today, but not as a filmmaker but as a Graphic Designer.

  • A brief intro about Ray’s breadth and depth of work w.r.t Graphic Design. How he designed type from cassette to film hoardings.
  • Satyajit Da’s contribution to the Indian landscape of graphic design. Which patterns/styles became famous after he did it?
  • Can you talk about “Agantuk” or also called “The stranger” poster (which is also available o MUBI). I guess it was inspired by the straight lines of the Bauhaus movement.
  • Tell us a bit about, where was Ray’s inspiration from? Kolkatta is social and has been chaotic for a long time, where and how did minimalism seep in, that, it started reflecting in his work?
  • Can you tell me, which were the top 3 characteristics of his work? For eg: usage of white space, usage of lines and grids, color palette, attention to detail, etc…
  • Did his usage of graphics/illustrations change after the wave of cheap printing techniques and papers started flowing the market?
  • Satyajit had made 3 fonts also as a type designer. A bit more about that?
  • What would you tell students of Graphic Design or illustration to learn from Satyajit Ray? What aspect should be ignored from his work?


About Pinaki De

Today I have Pinaki De with us on Audiogyan. Pinaki is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, book cover designer, comic artist, and teaches English literature in Kolkatta.

In this episode, we discuss Pinaki’s passion to explore Satyajit Ray’s work as a graphic designer. The director’s revolutionary films often overshadow his work as an illustrator and graphic designer, his graphical sensibilities as rich and diverse as his filmography. Let’s jump right in right away…

A bit more about MUBI – it’s a film streaming service, showcasing the best of Indian cinema on their MUBI INDIA channel and classic international hits on MUBI WORLD with a new film every day on each channel. You can catch some of Satyajit Ray’s insightful work on MUBI including iconic films like AGANTUK, GANASHATRU, and GHARE BAIRE. Get access to the best of hand-picked films absolutely free for 30 days at mubi.com/Audiogyan

AGANTUK – Satyajit Ray’s last film, *Agantuk* is a philosophical work that ponders the evolution of civilization, human nature, and how in the present world value of material wealth far exceeds that of humanity, trust, and love. One of Utpal Dutt’s finest performances

GANASHATRU – A scathing commentary on the social system and religious orthodoxies, this film highlights the ever-persistent conflict between rationality and religion, which is fueled by the greed of the powerful and naivete of blind faith.

GHARE BAIRE – Deftly juxtaposes and explores the early 20th-century nationalist movement and the emancipation of women—a recurrent theme of Satyajit Ray’s work.