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India Seeks Design for Rupee Monetary Symbol

Date:2009-03-16 17:27:41| Design|Browse: 0|Source: The FontFeed|Author: Jürgen Siebert
IntroductionThe Government of India wishes to introduce a symbol for its curr

The Government of India wishes to introduce a symbol for its currency the rupee, and is organising through the Ministry of Finance a public competition. The BBC extensively reported this, and interviewed FontShop's Euro experts on this topic. Erik Spiekermann is his usual experienced and knowledgeable self in this radio interview, and I myself contributed a number of quotations to the online article.

In the ATypI discussion on that topic, John Hudson comments that

Interestingly, Unicode already includes a codepoint for a rupee symbol, U+20A8. The glyph representation varies between either a digraph of Rs or with a bar through the R or the two letters ligated in some way. This character has been in Unicode since version 1.1.0 in 1993, and since it is in Unicode that means it is also in ISO 10646, which means that the Indian national standards body responsible for character encoding is presumably aware of it and may have had some role in it being encoded in the first place.

I presume the sudden push for a new symbol reflects a desire for something more graphically sophisticated. Personally, I'm of the opinion that currency symbols should only be invented by grocers writing on cardboard boxes with marker pens.

According to the brief the Competition for design of the "Symbol for

Indian Rupee" is restricted to "all Resident Indians (both Professional artists and Non-professionals)". However this shouldn't prevent us on The FontFeed to hold a parallel competition. The Ministry of Finance released a PDF with full details – made available on Amit Agarwal's weblog –, and maybe Erik's remarks in the BBC interview could serve as general guidelines. So show us your designs in the comments section, and we can compare them in six to nine months with the competition winner.

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