'Ch' for Chetpet
expressive typography | illustration

The aim of this project was to develop expressive typography based on Chennai, India. I used Google maps to analyse Chennai city and identify Tamil letterforms (the regional language of Tamil Nadu, India).

Personal project
Duration: 2 weeks


1. Scanning the map and reading it from different directions to detect recognisable forms.
2. Finding the letterform. Ideally, the letterform is the first alphabet of the corresponding place.
For example, 'Ch' for Chetpet (area name). This can also be viewed in the broader sense like 'Ch' for Chennai (city name).
3. Redrawing the map
4. Illustrating further details.

The highlighted part of the map spells ‘Ch’ for Chetpet, an area in Chennai whose aerial view is depicted. The colours used are inspired by the bold yellow signage seen on the platforms of Chennai railway stations. The second colourway is inspired by the political posters pasted on the walls throughout the city.

This project allowed me to look at my city from a different perspective and learn further about its various intricacies. I would like to take this project further by developing an algorithm that scans maps and identifies regional letterforms.

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