India Seeks Design for Rupee Monetary Symbol

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News | Jürgen Siebert | March 16, 2009

The Government of India wishes to introduce a symbol for its currency the rupee, and is organising through the Ministry of Finance a public competition. The BBC extensively reported this, and interviewed FontShop’s Euro experts on this topic. Erik Spiekermann is his usual experienced and knowledgeable self in this radio interview, and I myself contributed a number of quotations to the online article.

In the ATypI discussion on that topic, John Hudson comments that

Interestingly, Unicode already includes a codepoint for a rupee symbol, U+20A8. The glyph representation varies between either a digraph of Rs or with a bar through the R or the two letters ligated in some way. This character has been in Unicode since version 1.1.0 in 1993, and since it is in Unicode that means it is also in ISO 10646, which means that the Indian national standards body responsible for character encoding is presumably aware of it and may have had some role in it being encoded in the first place.
I presume the sudden push for a new symbol reflects a desire for something more graphically sophisticated. Personally, I’m of the opinion that currency symbols should only be invented by grocers writing on cardboard boxes with marker pens.

According to the brief the Competition for design of the “Symbol for
Indian Rupee”
is restricted to “all Resident Indians (both Professional artists and Non-professionals)”. However this shouldn’t prevent us on The FontFeed to hold a parallel competition. The Ministry of Finance released a PDF with full details – made available on Amit Agarwal’s weblog –, and maybe Erik’s remarks in the BBC interview could serve as general guidelines. So show us your designs in the comments section, and we can compare them in six to nine months with the competition winner.

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  1. I think it’s a font designer job. India has more than 10 (official) and many (old) scripts and thousands of dialects. There will be number of options to design a symbol for Indian currency. Graphic designers should take a help of font designers and they can make a package for such assignment. at least Indian graphic designers will come to know that designing Indian language font is very tough.

    Posted by sarang on Mar. 23, 2009
  2. I think is a very serious assignment and I will make sense if the right people will judge this assignment.
    I feel very sad for Indian currency coins. This should not happen with Currency symbol.

    Posted by sarang on Mar. 23, 2009
  3. I’m really looking forward to see what the designs will look like. Nobody has reacted to Jürgen’s call for submissions so far.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Mar. 24, 2009
  4. Why is the contest restricted only to Resident Indians?. It should be open to all the Persons of Indian origin.someone, please let me know if the Govt. amends this restriction..

    Posted by Satish Bhide on Mar. 26, 2009
  5. hi i designed lot of symbols its are represent our currency & our country but it can not execute in computer keyword . now wt i can do?

    Posted by shyamalaa on Apr. 2, 2009
  6. My symbol is in the link below:
    You will find whatever, you suggested as part of it, and many more like Swastika symbol, King’s face used in ancient currencies, Ashok Chakra, Number 0, letters e.g, R,S,P,U,E,I etc. even र or रु, holy signs like sacred kalash and also the sign of stability along with its negotiation with foriegn currencies with the use of horizontal bar having two open arms facing upward & downward to keep up with market fluctuation and finally as a whole visual representation of an emperor with one sword facing upward in right hand to fight enemies and the other one in left hand facing downward to hole peace in his country but yet it is so simple!
    I think it’s not at all complicated as it consists of 1 P, 1 O and 1 horizontal S. It is a three Stroke symbol, whereas $, £ are two stroke symbols and €, ¥ are of three strokes.
    Even, this symbol can be written in a single stroke by starting from the downside of P , followed by the O in anti-clockwise direction and finally the horizontal S. Moreover, the pattern is so unique that ambiguity will never arise with other letters/ currencies/numbers even if written carelessly or in too hurry.

    Posted by Soumen Das on Apr. 20, 2009
  7. Posted by Soumen Das on Apr. 24, 2009
  8. Govt.of India , economic affair department ran a competetion to design a symbol for rupee like dollar have $ at its website

    here is my entery to the contest..
    My simplest yet worthy “peace of art” for Indian Rupee Symbol link..

    Posted by mewool on Apr. 25, 2009
  9. Posted by Neha on Jun. 7, 2009
  10. Font with Indian Rupee Symbol – Download and Use Free
    We have made the first font with support for Indian currency symbol.

    Posted by Hisham on Jul. 16, 2010

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