Zeenat Kulavoor May 17 2020, 0 Comments

Zeenat

This week we are introducing you to, and getting to know our collaborators a little better.  Today we meet Zeenat who collaborated with her on Dancer Cocktail Napkins and the Memory Album.  Let's get to know Zeenat a little better.  

Zeenat Kulavoor is a Typographer + Graphic Designer based in Bombay. She specializes in Urdu type, lettering, and calligraphy. She intends to change the perception towards the use of Urdu in India - which is widely perceived to be limited to religious usage. Using tongue-in-cheek humor and wit, combined with the use of scale and varied printmaking methods, Zeenat is working towards reinventing possibilities of how the script can be a part of regular day to day life. She also works as the design head at Bombay Duck Designs and runs a small design shop called BombayDuckShop that sells select books, zines, prints, and objects that blur the boundaries between illustration, art, and design.

Zeenat Kulavoor is a Typographer + Graphic Designer based in Bombay. She specializes in Urdu type, lettering, calligraphy, and expresses/publishes her work under the name ‘ilm’ (Urdu for 'knowledge').  She also works as the design head at Bombay Duck Designs and runs a small design shop called BombayDuckShop that sells select books, zines, prints, and objects that blur the boundaries between illustration, art & design.

What started as a research for a college project in regional typefaces ended up becoming her current pursuit. Zeenat studied the Urdu script during her time at Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts and has been working with the script for the past 10 years. Her understanding of the Urdu script and its application in graphic design is now part of multiple projects including lettering for a home interior products and furniture collection called Mughal Pop by Mozez Singh exclusively available at Good Earth chain of stores, a unique 30 feet by 10 feet Type installation called ‘Harmony’ for Facebook India’s Artist In Residence project at the Hyderabad office and lettering for the opening sequence of Mira Nair’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ in collaboration with Design Temple, to name a few. Currently, she is working on an exciting project in collaboration with a Germany - India based Lifestyle brand. 

Zeenat believes that the Urdu script has endless creative possibilities. She intends to change the perception towards the use of Urdu in India - which is widely perceived to be limited to religious usage. Using tongue-in-cheek humor and wit, combined with the use of scale and varied printmaking methods, Zeenat is working towards reinventing possibilities of how the script can be a part of regular day to day life. 

Apart from her Urdu work, she has also been a part of BombayDuckDesigns since 2010. At BDD she has worked on a variety of projects in the areas of branding, art direction, festival decor, packaging, murals and installations, websites, and stage designs for clients like NH7Weekender, Nike, RedBull India, Pepsi, Facebook India, to name a few. She has also been an integral part of the design and development of all self-published books and illustrated zines from BombayDuckDesigns. She also runs a small design shop called BombayDuckShop that sells select books, zines, prints, and objects that blur the boundaries between illustration, art & design.

 

Tell us about you! 

Zeenat

I wear many hats! I Art Direct illustration and graphic design projects at my studio Bombay Duck Designs. I run a small gallery/shop blurring boundaries between illustration, art & design called Bombay Duck Shop. As my personal art practice, I work on Type, lettering, and calligraphy-based projects with a focus on multilingual scripts. In my free time I document street cats on my blog I Spot Cats

We love your work at ecru, can you tell us what inspired you to start working on typography?

Memory Album

‘Every artist has a unique voice’ - this is something I kept hearing during Art school days and that's exactly what I kept searching for. Although I intended to focus on illustration in Art School (inspired by my brother - Sameer), my first ever ‘Introduction to Typography’ class was super inspiring and opened new doors for me. I started noticing the role of typography in day to day life and that made me realize the scope and impact of it. This observation kept pushing me to do more! Multilingual scripts excite me the most mainly because of the challenges they throw at me.

What is BombayDuck?

BombayDuck

BombayDuck is a local fish also knows as ‘Bombil’ found int he Arabian Sea near Bombay and Its also my studio! 

BombayDuckDesigns was founded by my brother Sameer Kulavoor in 2008, I joined him in 2010 and is now leading under my creative direction. BDD’s image-making approach coupled with a wide arsenal of tools, methods, and mediums has worked well for music & cultural projects, publications, exhibits, motion graphics, animation, advertising, and editorials. It is the earliest ' specialized' independent studio of its kind in India.  Our clientele includes brands like Nike, Bacardi, Facebook, Google, Godrej, Apple, Lodha, Diageo, RedBull, Pepsi, Nh7 Weekender (Music festival), Lufthansa, WPP, Adobe, to name a few.

 What do you love most about Bombay? 

Mohammed Ali Road

Its a love affair. Somethings I like and somethings I dislike.  But my most favorite thing - my walks around the city, just observing its contrast nature. Walking through the crowded and magical lanes of Mohammed Ali road which ultimately lead you to the Fort area and suddenly the whole landscape changes!

 

Stay tuned for our next collaborator!