ABC Desi

Print
  • Collaborators/ Jeeva (artist), Abbas (artist)

Crafting a uniquely Indian alphabet book: English alphabet books in India are most often western in their approach. Objects depicted are unfamiliar and out of context. Inspired by local Hindi alphabet charts and made in collaboration with Bollywood film poster artists, ABC Desi offers a bold, playful and contextual alternative to niche and mass markets.

Priti Paul leads Apeejay Press and Oxford Bookstores, a boutique publishing house and chain of bookstores in India. We were commissioned by her, to create a book that would address the cultural gap in the market for an English alphabet book, specifically relevant to India.

Read More +

Priti Paul leads Apeejay Press and Oxford Bookstores, a boutique publishing house and chain of bookstores in India. We were commissioned by her, to create a book that would address the cultural gap in the market for an English alphabet book, specifically relevant to India.

Hindi alphabet charts are colorful and show objects that are local and familiar. English alphabet books are more clean with a bizarre mix of east and west – bright parrots co-exist with blonde queens.

Inspired by vibrant Hindi letter charts, ABC Desi shows objects from everyday life in urban and rural India. The aesthetic language is deeply contextual. Indian visual culture celebrates color and anti-minimalism. We worked with Bollywood poster artists (masters of a dying craft) to paint each object in their quintessential expressive style. However, unlike traditional film posters which are narrative in style, we simplified and isolated the objects. Using vibrant colors, scale and composition ABC Desi is immersive and playful – a unique Indian alphabet book.

Read More +