A WIP Devanagari typeface called Kadak
William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956) was an American illustrator, calligrapher, typographer, book designer, author, type designer and puppeteer. His work often got inspired by other fields that he worked in, one of which was this experiment in which he combined his love for puppets with his love for type.
During one of my assignments in college, I got inspired by his work and developed a Devanagari display typeface.
Planes and Curves
Dwiggins had a good working relationship with Chauncey H. Griffith, Linotype's Director of Typographic Development. In one of the documents that he sent to Griffith, in July 1937, he wrote about his ingenious "M-formula" (M for marionette).
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. He used the same idea for a typeface that he worked on.
Dwiggins’ first sketches showing the M-formula applied to type
Image source and link to the entire article is here
Tricking the eye
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 incorporate this idea into a Devanagari typeface. Hence, Kadak.
A typeface inspired by Dwiggins' idea of combining sharp planes and soft curves to create something that looks interesting in smaller and larger sizes.
Some very initial sketches