A Devanagari display typeface inspired by the work of WA Dwiggins, an American multi-disciplinary designer
William Addison Dwiggins was an American illustrator, calligrapher, typographer, book designer, author, type designer and puppeteer.
Since he worked in such varied disciplines, his work often got inspired by other fields that he worked in, which led to several ingenious ideas!
All the 3 images in the gif below
are works by Dwiggins.
The ‘M-formula’ (M for marionette) is WA Dwiggins’ observation while cutting marionette faces.
A marionette is a puppet worked by strings.
He realised, that by cutting soft features of girls’ faces as sharp planes, the planes magically transformed into delicately rounded curves, which looked beautiful from across the room, as well as from the front benches.
Below is the character set for Hingham which was designed 1937-43, cut in 7 pt. but not released
Basically, it is a method to trick the eye
(in viewing objects much reduced) into seeing curves that aren’t there.
This concept got me thinking,
if I could in some way, incorporate this idea into
a Devanagari typeface.
This typeface developed from the combination of sharp planes and soft features of the marionettes that inspired Dwiggins to create Hingham.
It is a bold and robust typeface that can be easily used on book covers, humongous signs, advertising and definitely on posters. Here is a mini-lyric from the song Tattad Tattad and a few other places
Kadak could be used.