Hiral Kaulav Bhagat

Formal and structural analysis of practical calligraphy work


The fundamental purpose of writing is to convey ideas, but man was a designer long before he wrote, and it follows that in the pictures, drawings and arrangements the design factor took a prominent place from the beginning. (Alexander Nesbitt, The history and Technique of lettering)

Throughout the history calligraphy work had reflected the formal, the structural, technical considerations as well as the high aesthetic standards of the people of that time. Form and structure are the physical shape, the constitutive essence of letters, signs, individual and collective. The study of aesthetic quality will help us to assess the formal aspect of various writing systems and its development. Content and form of written material is like soul and body.

The focus of this abstract is form and structure of the Gujarati calligraphy.

The Gujarati is one of the official and local languages of India. State of Gujarat is located on the West side of India.

The Gujarati script historically used in parts of lower Rajasthan, Malwa and west India. In Utter Pradesh it has known as Mahajani or Bania script. This script was used in writing account by traditional accountants (Munim), so they used to write very fast and with all connected letters without lifting of the pen. This may be one of the reasons of character of letterforms. The Gujarati script has derived from 10th century Devnagari. Several characters still have some form as in seen in the Devnagari script. Since this script was used to write account, initially they drew continuous top line (Shirorekha) like Devnagari but eventually to achieve the speed in writing, the top line is removed. Hence it acquired distinct rotundity.

Though the Gujarati letter forms have been derived from Devnagari script, in the course of its evolution it becomes simpler to write without misunderstanding. It has got its own formal and structural expression in this process. As initially the script were written with reed pen, the Kana or vertical stroke naturally achieved the curved terminal stroke. That gives distinct style to the Gujarati script and calligraphy. The Gujarati script written from left to right and most of the characters begin from the left yet there are certain from the right and then proceed further towards the right.

The 35-40 degree angle of reed pen is used to write the Gujarati script, which is slanting to the right. This orientation gives flat to very thin strokes as pen moves in particular direction. This creates an illusion of three-dimensional form. These thick and thin strokes can give variety of combination to the letterform.

The Gujarati calligraphy has distinct strokes to form the letter like vertical stroke, horizontal stroke, curved stroke, circle, ellipse, loop, knot, point etc. This script has 3-tire system. Top part is for Matras, Middle part is for the Consonant or vowels and bottom is for Harswa sign.

Another interesting formal aspect of the Gujarati script is conjunct form. This joint letters help to make the writing of Gujarati very compact. The compactness od such joint letter-forms makes the pronunciation perfect and precise and any trained reader or speaker will never commit an error in pronunciation of recognition. There are various types of conjunct form.

Keywords: Letter forms, Script, Strokes, Variations, Style


  • Date of Birth                  June 23, 1983
  • Nationality                      Indian                                
  • E-mail                             hiralbhagat23@gmail.com 

Educational    qualifications

  • ۲۰۰۲: Passed five years applied art course from C. N. College of Fine Arts (Faculty of Applied Art), Ahmedabad with first class.  
  • ۲۰۰۵: Graduation in B.A. with English from G. L. S. College, Ahmedabad with second class
  • ۲۰۰۲: Multimedia course from Arena Multimedia, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۱۳ -­‐۲۰۱۴/۲۰۱۶: Completed basic and advanced Calligraphy course in Roman and Devnagari from Achyut Palav school of Calligraphy, Mumbai
  • ۲۰۱۵-­‐۲۰۱۶: Completed Advanced Calligraphy course from Kalpesh Gosavi,Mumbai

Work    experience

  • ۲۰۰۳: Worked with graphic designer Mayank Bhatt in Ahmedabad as trainee
  • ۲۰۰۶: Worked in Crest creative design studio as designer, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۰۷: Worked in Akanksha Advertising Agency (Kandivali, Mumbai) as visualizer

Workshop  and    exhibition    participation    

  • ۲۰۱۴ & 2017: Participated in Calligraphy Exhibition in Nehru Center Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • ۲۰۱۶: Participated in residence workshop called AKSHARYAGNA arranged by Achyut Palav at Mumbai
  • ۲۰۱۳ & 2015: Participated in TYPO DAY in Mumbai
  • Participated in various Calligraphy workshops with Achyut Palav and individual also in Mumbai
  • Participated in the Gothic and Copperplate workshop by international calligrapher Paul Antonio.
  • ۲۰۱۴ & 2018 : Exhibition of work in-­‐group show of Callifest at Mumbai
  • ۲۰۱۷ & 2018 : Exhibition of work calligraphy group show of Women’s day at Mumbai
  • ۲۰۱۸: Exhibition of work in group show Ginipi art foundation, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۱۸ : Exhibition of work in group show of Kanoria center for arts annual exhibition
  • ۲۰۱۹: Exhibition of work in group show at National Calligraphy Festival, Kerala
  • ۲۰۲۰ : Calligraphy installation art in Abhivyakti City Art Project, Ahmedabad

Workshops  conducted    and    live    demonstration    

  • ۲۰۱۸: Conducted workshop of Creative Strokes of Calligraphy Workshop at Summer Winter School, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۱۸: Conducted Calligraphy Workshops at Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۱۸: Conducted calligraphy workshop for foundation year students at IIT Gandhinagar, Gujarat
  • ۲۰۱۸: Conducted calligraphy workshop at C.N. fine arts college, Ahmedabad, Gujarat,
  • ۲۰۱۹: Live demonstration of Gujarati Calligraphy at Jaipur Art Summit, Mumbai edition
  • ۲۰۱۹: Live demonstration at IDO design studio, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۲۰: Conducted Devnagari Calligraphy Workshop at Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad
  • ۲۰۲۰: Conducted virtual Calligraphy workshop at Typewknd Global Conference


  • ۲۰۱۹: Work displayed and calligraphy demonstration at Gujarat Literature Festival, Vadodra
  • Work in the collection of Gujarat Literature Festival and Alembic group.
  • ۲۰۱۹: Gujarati Calligraphy work selected at Calligraphies in Conversations, San Francisco, USA
  • ۲۰۱۹: Winner and secured 3rd position in Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (Mumbai)
  • ۲۰۱۹: Work selected at Tool Art-­‐National Library of Singapore
  • ۲۰۱۹: Work selected at Cheongju Jikji World Calligraphy Exhibition, South Korea,
  • ۲۰۲۰: Selection of Gujarati Calligraphy Manifesto and work for International Design Conference at Women In Design Plus2020, Mumbai
  • ۲۰۲۰: Invited to display Gujarati Calligraphy work at Indo-­‐Iran culture center under Iran embassy at Mumbai
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