India Street Lettering zines: Tiles

In the summer of 2023, I took the plunge to turn my typographic discoveries and theses from India Street Lettering into honest-to-God printed matter: pint-sized, self-published zines that each centre on a tiny sliver of public lettering in India, catalysed by a medley of influences such as material, script, location, function and historical context.

The common thread that binds together the first batch of zines is the usage of tiles as a material for signage. It is a subject that can scarcely be covered in three zines, but we’ve got ourselves a start. From the azulejos of Panjim to tiled wayfinding signs in New Delhi and multiscript mosaic lettering, these zines show us how a material that we don’t readily associate with public lettering in India does, in fact, play its part in the making of memorable signage.

No1 Azulejos of Panjim, Goa

Signages on hand-painted, glazed tiles abound in the streets of Panjim as a striking visual reminder of the lasting Portuguese influence in India’s smallest state.

No2 Mosaic Letters in Devanagari & Latin

Mosaic signs offer up an excellent opportunity to study how the vastly different letterforms of Devanagari and Latin scripts adapt to a limiting medium.

No3 Tiled Wayfinding in New Delhi

An unexpected sighting of multi-script, monospaced letterforms in the wild in the form of fast-disappearing wayfinding signs in New Delhi.