by anil on August 26, 2010
India gets new currency symbol. Whole of India is excited about it and so am I. Now waiting for type face designers to include the symbol in my favorite fonts.
Government of India approved a currency symbol design contest last year. And the year-long competition came to an end and the winner is an IIT’ian. He designed a symbol which is described as “combination of the Devanagiri letter ‘Ra’ and the Roman letter ‘R'”; both first letter of the Indian currency name “Rupee”.
Many people around the world still think that India, along with the neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh share the same currency. So this move is going to make Indian Rupee distinctive. Media welcomed the symbol as it shows off the strength of the up coming currency.
But I see some problems with its design!
Have you tried using this symbol? Not yet? Pick a pen and try it yourself right now before you read further.
Well, how does it look? Just look at your best attempt. And now try writing Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euro symbols and see. I don’t expect you to be a freehand drawing expert; but as a common man, what do you think? Can you see a difference? What’s the problem?
Besides proportion requirements, this symbol needs those “calligraphy edges” for that finished look. Its elegance depends a lot on those beveled edges and that is quite unfortunate. To create those edges, you need thick lines. That is the problem here: this symbol won’t look as good in thin lines line (i.e. while writing with regular pen or in regular font set)! This symbol needs to be bold face–always.
Compare this with other currency symbols we know. What is it missing? Here is my list:
- A good shape that is tolerant to imperfection while writing.
- A good shape that would look good irrespective of the thickness of the line it is drawn with.
- A good shape that has a fairly good degree of symmetry. A symmetric symbol has lot of flexibility and possibilities while designing type faces. And easy to draw too.
The symbol started appearing in news papers and other print media already. People try experimenting with it now in headlines and advertisements where they can use a bold type face. Now my mind is getting conditioned to it though I am yet to see it in body texts.
I wish someone could come up with a one-pixel version of the symbol so that it can used in body texts. Also a variant for writing by hand.