TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu May 18 10:37:57 EDT 2023






Hashim Padiyath Mohemmadali

Indian type designer (b. 1969) from Cochin in Kerala. He designed IndusLL (1994, a roman typeface with features of Lithos) for Linotype's TakeType library "based on the still undeciphered pictographic script of the Indus Valley civilization, circa 5000 BC". He designed the dingbat typeface Chihnangal, and the following commercial Malayalam fonts: Puthuma, Unniyarcha, Indulekha, Ravivarma, Ambili, Kingini, Thulasi, Orma, Harisri, Atham, Aarcha, Unniyarcha, Nila, Chirutha, Thumba, Vartha&Pampa. He studied under R.K. Joshi. He runs Design Difference, which has created these typefaces (text almost literally taken from their site):

  • While working at C-DAC Gist, Pune during 1993-1994, Hashim P M had designed the monoweight semi-condensed Indulekha in 6 variants (Normal, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique, Heavy and Heavy Oblique), the calligraphic script Ravivarma in 4 variants (Normal, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic) and the calligraphic serifed Ambili in 4 variants (Normal, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic) apart from Chihnangal a collection of Symbols and Cliparts pertaining to Kerala. Indulekha has become the most favourite display typeface in Malayalam, lapped up by advertisements and publications, Ravivarma is the chosen one for invitations and citations while Ambili retains its uniqueness as the first serif typeface in Malayalam and is used only when a touch of class is asked for.
  • While working at Malayala Manorama, Kottayam during 1994-1997, Hashim P M had designed 8 exclusive Malayalam typefaces for them which are stile in use and determine their typographic flavour after several layout revamp exercises. Vartha, Kingini, Puthuma, Chirutha, Nila, Thulasi, Aarcha and Unniyarcha belong to text and display categories. Unniyarcha was used as a text typeface in the daily only for a brief time, while its display counterpart Aarcha is still their headline typeface along with Kingini. The group's other publications including Vanitha, Manorama Weekly, Balarama, Karshakasri, Bhashaposhini, Yearbook also use these typefaces.
  • While redesigning Mathrubhumi Daily, its was imperative that their decadent typefaces were also given a contemporary flavour. They took up the challenge, cleaned up their half-century-old designs and made a whole new family out of it which was suited for web-offset printing on newsprint. Mathrubhumi 760 and 762 were the final products which take less space and prints better. For Mathrubhumi Weekly, a new monoweight typeface (Mathrubhumi 560) was created which worked well for text and display and which followed their unique keymap. The end result was so appealing that even the daily and some of their magazines have started using it extensively. Ambadi, a typeface they had developed earlier was used in the recent redesign of Mathrubhumi Weekly.
  • Thejas, Malayalam's youngest daily wanted a brand new headline typeface to announce that they are different. Thejas, the headline typeface they designed for them is compressed and dark enough to stand out in the crowd. Instead of giving a lighter version of this, they designed Kadali, a second headline typeface which is more conventional, albeit with a semi-condensed form. Together they create the necessary visual tension in headlines, making Thejas one of the best-looking dailies in the language. Later they also developed an expanded version of Thejas for them.
  • For the Signage design of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin they needed a typeface that matched with the Roman typeface wde had selected to use. They developed Amrita modifying Keli. Sakshi is inspired by communist wall-grafitti letters with a dripping paint-brush touch. Ambadi has curled terminals and ink-traps at junctions. Pingala is inspired by DIN Mittleschrift and its bare features.
  • They had designed a headline typeface for Deepika daily (the oldest in Malayalam) when we undertook the redesign of the daily. Deepika (nee Atham) is a robust typeface with condensed form loosely inspired by Frankin Gothic. A Normal and Bold version with Oblique make a strong family. The typeface is still the main display typeface for the group's publications even after so many years. They consider it among one of their best type designs to date. They also licensed Orma on a non-exclusive basis to them during the project.
  • The display typeface Mangalam was designed for Mangalam Group of Publications when wde redesigned their daily. Thick and thin and condensed in nature, the typeface is currently used by the group in all their publications. They have also licensed Pampa on a non-exclusive basis to Mangalam, which has also become a hot favourite in their publications.
  • They developed Thumba as a corporate typeface for D C Books after wde used a draft version of it in the Malayalam CD-ROM Encyclopedia wde developed for them. The very modern Thumba is monoweight, sufficiently expanded and has a relaxed air about it. Regular, Bold and Heavy with their Obliques make a handsome family. Thumba is loosely inspired by Frutiger and is one of their best type designs to date. They had also licensed Pampa and Orma on a non-exclusive basis, for use in their publications. When they were redesigning and streamlining their corporate visual identity, they also put together their logos and symbols as a handy font D C Logos.

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Hashim Padiyath Mohemmadali
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