Ray As Calligrapher
Satyajit Ray designed four typefaces for roman script named Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis, and Holiday Script, apart from numerous Bengali ones for the Sandesh magazine. Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre won an international competition in 1971. In certain circles of Calcutta, Ray continued to be known as an eminent graphic designer, well into his film career. Ray illustrated all his books and designed covers for them, as well as creating all publicity material for his films, i.e., Ray’s artistic playing with the Bangla graphemes was also revealed in the cine posters and cine promo-brochures’ covers. He also designed covers of several books by other authors. In his calligraphic technique there are deep impacts of: (a) Artistic pattern of European musical staff notation in the graphemic syntagms; (b) alpana (“ritual painting” mainly practiced by Bengali women at the time of religious festival; the term denotes 'to coat with’. Generally categorized as “Folk”-Art cf. in Ray’s graphemic representations.
Thus, so-called division between classical and folk art is blurred in Ray’s representation of Bangla graphemes. The three-tier X-height of Bangla graphemes was presented in a manner of musical map and the contours, curves in between horizontal and vertical meeting-point, follow the patterns of alpana. It is also noticed that the metamorphosis of graphemes (This might be designated as “Archewriting”) as a living object/subject in Ray’s positive manipulation of Bangla graphemes.
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