The HandpaintedType project is a collaborative, on-going effort to preserve, well, the hand painted type of Indian street painters. A 10-minute documentary video introduces the project’s website visitors to a few of these forgotten masters as well as the computer-aided scoundrels who’ve made their skills “obsolete.” In the fast-moving haste of bustling Delhi, business owners prefer cheap and speedy Arial-based signs over the comparatively arduous, though stunningly artistic hand-painted banners of yore.
To keep a few Rupees flowing in their direction and expose designers elsewhere to their craft, the HandpaintedType folks have been commissioning some of these artists, many whom have given up their trade, to produce banners containing complete alphabets, which are then digitized and turned into fonts for use on computers. Some typefaces, like Painter Kafeel, named after the artist who created it, are multi-faceted and contain up to nine separate layers that, when over-layed and set to various highlight and shadow colors, create beautiful, three-dimensional characters such as in this inset photo.
To top it all off, the site contains a gallery of photos showing hand-painted signs. Lovers of visual junk rejoice.