Monday, November 15, 2010

Rupee Symbol for Sans Serif fonts

New lessons in Typography: Rupee Symbol customisation.

The day after Dr. Udayakumar from IDc won the design competition for the much awaited Rupee Symbol, Foradian, a company in Kerala created a font version of the rupee symbol. This font was uploaded in their blog and millions of users downloaded their font for use in various platforms and softwares. . It was a commendable effort from Foradian, who created a font version in a very very short time frame and made it available to everyone who wanted to use the new Rupee Symbol.
It worked on a mac too:-)
They assigned a key also to the new symbol, months before the ministry even thought about assigning a key to the symbol.
It was really fast thinking.

Soon newspapers, magazines and lot of media started using this font to indicate "Indian Rupees". As a designer, I wondered why we use the same symbol for ALL the fonts we use. Times of India uses the same symbol for their it a serif face like Poynter display or for a sans serif face like Poynter Sans serif version. 
Advertisements use the same symbol with ANY font which comes as headline. 
The same visual is used for Universe bold condensed, Times Roman, Garamond, Helvetica and of course the ugliest of them all..............Arial!

The Rupee symbol suddenly looks like a villain in headlines, looking like a sore thumb.

Need of the hour is to come together and create "customised" Rupee Symbols for all our favourite fonts!
Wonder how will it be, to have a blog where users can come and download Rupee Symbols for Univers, Helvetica, Futura, Calibri, Gotham, Times Roman, Garamond, Impact, Snell, Vivaldi..............what not!

Last month, I had a chance to work on a project, creating customised Rupee Symbols for three fonts with variations totaling about 12 styles.
(Soon, after the client gives me the permission, I will be publishing it)

It was a great experience for me to learn Fontlab and crack the hidden codes of "optical correction" in the Rupee Symbol!

This is an experiment I did: 
Two new fonts: RupeeUnivers and RupeeSansIDC in Opentype format to work with a Mac AND windows, which will give a new sans serif, monothickness version of the Rupee Symbol.
Looking forward to the day when we can have hundreds of Rupee symbols to match the fonts we use! A request to all my designer friends, please design new versions of rupee symbols and send. Let us create a blog where those who need a Rupee Symbol to match a particular font can download it for free!

For all fans of Univers Font: RupeeUnivers

One More Font: RupeeSansIDC:

This is designed as a generic sans serif adaptation of the original Rupee Symbol.

How to use the font:
1. Download the .otf file
2. Windows users can open the font folder in C drive: windows folder
and install the font
3. Mac users can use fontbook and install the font
4. In any software, use the ` key to type the Rupee symbol.
The grave key ` is above the "tab" key and to the left of the digit 1 and ! mark in the keyboard.
5. Select the character `.
6. Go to font menu and change the font to "RupeeSansIDC" or

If you are using the Foradian font, the same key works for Rupee Univers.
More info here.

Looking forward to feedback from all!


  1. Good work Prof. Sreekumar. The rupee symbol can now be elegantly used with a lot of sans serif fonts now. Kudos!!

  2. It is good job indeed, i agree with you Gurujee. it is very difficult to match with other font. in the headlines, billboards, advertisements, even in small body text its looks odd.

    keep us update.

  3. Thanks a lot Nirmal dada and Santosh Dada:-)

  4. Great Job. Professor. Indeed I too look forward to the day when all the fonts have a 'designed version' of our rupee symbol.

  5. G.V gteat job! Is there Rupee symbol a unicode value? You have removed the grave accent and placed the Rupee sign at that place? Is that so? for the sake of convinience?

  6. dear mukund sir,
    thanks for the comments.
    the day after the rupee symbol was announced, foradian offered their font for download.Since they assigned th egrave key, lots and lots of people got accustomed to that key. This is definitely a temporary step and I heard that now the govt is going to announce a unicode key for the rupee symbol.
    Once that is known, I will reassign the symbol for that key.
    I agree that it is not advisable to remove the grave accent and replace it with the rupee symbol.
    Yes, it was for the sake of convenience!

  7. Great Effort GVS. This will surely be an interim relief till we can access rupee symbol for all the fonts we love to use. Cheers!

  8. Thanks GV .. this is huge help to all the brands & also the brand communication agencies.. the layout will start looking cleaner now on …  … looking forward see more of these kind of educative innovations …

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  10. Really Nice to see this Sir ji ... this will be great exercise for students which can be really useful too :-)

    Super Like !!!

  11. Nice work Sir,
    I will soon begin designing a rupee symbol for my font too...

  12. Thanks Prof.Sreekumar! Really nice to see this.

  13. Thanks to you Sir. It should be systemized for all possible typefaces. You have also solved one more issue - in newspaper or on channels symol placed closed to digit 1 looks like "Raa".

    A rupee symbol in Bodoni, would design this Sunday !!

  14. Dear Sir,
    Thank you very much for posting and designing rupee symbol for other fonts. This is indeed a great initiative and need of the hour like you have mentioned it. I was unable to take it forward because of my new role that I have taken up in IIT Guwahati. Being your student, I have once again learned from you.

    D. Udaya Kumar