But you and others on the committee are trained to be more observant. Was that the skill that came into play? AS: Indeed it did. Moreover we then segregated the symbols under different categories, depending upon a number of characteristics such as ease of execution, simplicity, designed with a single stroke, recall value, link to India, and so on. Those with thick and thin strokes, as well as complicated symbols, fell by the side at this round. This reduced the selection pile to 150 and then to 31, out of which 5 entries were short listed. But let me confirm this - through all these rounds, the judges had no way of knowing who is who. The entries were still anonymous numbers to you? AS: Yes, till the penultimate stage. The final five, who had been anonymous numbers till then, were invited to Delhi in December 2009 to make a presentation of their symbol design before us. Though of course, their symbols spoke visually for themselves and did not need an explanation of the underlying concept. For grading them in a hierarchical order, we used the five criteria of overall esthetic value, easy recall, ease of replicability, symbolic interpretation, and applicability. And of course their conceptual representation. As the designers made their presentation, each jury member
independently gave marks with equal weightage to the five criteria. The total marks of the six selection committee members were added up and the tally was used to rank them from 1 to 5. So the jury selected the first five out of the initial 3,000. Who made the final decision of the winner? AS: This list was sent to the Department of Economic Affairs for the final choice. Luckily, their choice matched that of the selection committee and Udaya Kumar’s design was chosen as the winner. As he explained in his presentation to the committee, his identity has all the finer details that are required of the symbol, in that it evokes ready recall of India, is easy to write and typecast, has integrity, unity of form and a compact look, and is in harmony with the existing currency symbols of the world. It is a perfect blend of Indian and Roman letters - a capital ‘R’ and Devanagari ‘ra’ which represents rupiya - to appeal to international audiences and Indian audiences.
design and so interested in knowing the details is good news indeed for all designers in India. What do you think is the next step? AS: I feel that the Government of India should now ask Udaya to create all variants of the identity, in normal, bold, italics, extra bold, in serif and sans serif, for compatibility with other fonts.
And what do you think is more important, the cash prize of a lakh and a half or the infinite goodwill and pride of having litAerally made a mark? AS: I think we all know the answer to that one. The fact that Udaya and his design have been celebrated across the media and nation is really heartwarming. The fact that people are relating to the
Udaya Kumar, designer of the Indian Rupee Symbol, during an exclusive interview with Pool Magazine, told us that he has been on the move since the news about his entry for the Rupee Symbol being selected was announced. So far he had not received any formal intimation of his entry being selected, his source of information was the news on TV. “Maybe the letter has gone to IDC, in my absence”, the humble designer added. On life after his entry being selected... “I have been getting a lot of calls and wishes, I am being invited to a number of felicitation ceremonies, and a lot of travel is coming up” On the controversy surrounding the tranparency in the selection process.... “I have nothing to say, Jury should answer the questions that are being asked, because I just submitted it and they selected it and I heard it on TV.” Deepak Pathania wasn’t the prize mentioned before? then whats the financial huha about? www.poolmagazine.in 27
August issue of POOL Magazine