KOCHI: There is a lot of artfulness in the letters Amal creates. Each alphabet gets its own dynamic personality when Amal Babu sketches. While the Malayalam typeface he creates get that sprightly, flamboyant flourishes, the English typeface is sans any such ornamentation, getting a realistic touch, with fixed edges and sans serif. This techie gives emotion and breathes life to letters. Typography is his form of artistic expression. And letters, his muse.
Art always captivated Amal since he was young. On completing school, he had to relent to family pressure and take up laboratory medical science as his profession. After working in a hospital for a few years, he finally decided to follow his passion, thereby enrolling for a course in multimedia and animation. It was only after he joined a job in UI design development that letters started fascinating him.
He started off by experimenting with Malayalam alphabets. “Hand-lettering was not in vogue at that time. Especially, not much was being done on the Malayalam alphabets. That is when I thought of experimenting with the Malayalam typeface,” says Amal who works as a senior UI designer at UST Global, Thiruvananthapuram. “In Malayalam, I try to work on the curves and flow of letters. In English, the focus is more on composition,” says Amal who is a self-taught typographer.
As someone who uses basic geometrical shapes while creating typefaces, Amal says that a sense of balance can be achieved while using patterns such as circles, squares and triangles. “While working with English alphabets, I try to fit them into a square. This helps in composition. I have tried to fit the Malayalam alphabets in a circle or a triangle,” says Amal. “I am still perfecting the craft and experimenting with the letters and styles. The idea is to create fonts. I am also learning Tamil, so I can create typefaces in the language,” adds Amal excitedly.