Archive for the ‘symbols’ Tag

The Destiny of the Rupee

50-rupee-front

“See, this country, in its days of greatness, when it was the richest nation on earth, was like a zoo. A clean, well-kept, orderly zoo. Everyone in his place, everyone happy. Goldsmiths here. Cowherds here. Landlords there. The man a called Halwai made sweets. The man called a cowherd tended cows. The untouchable cleaned faeces…

… in the old days there were one thousand castes and destinies in India. These days, there are just two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies.”

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

school

Indian school via Mad Decent.

India, to the best of my limited knowledge, is a country built on codes and glimmering with symbols – however prismatic.

Soon there will be a new symbol. And it’s already caused some division.

The Indian government has launched a public competition to design a currency symbol for the Rupee. Entrants must be Indian nationals and are required to supply a bank draft of Rs 500 with their applications by 15 April 2009.

From what I’ve read, Indian designers are peeved they have to pay the government to participate. But there’s already spec work up on ‘the internet’.

re-rupee

Indian Rupee spec design by Christian Büning; Design of the Euro.

Erik Spiekermann, founder of FontShop, is “afraid their brief is a little off”. Check out the discussions at Fontblog (in German) and TypeOff.

All the hubbub set me off on a dig. Beyond the obvious (£ Pound/ $ Dollar/ € Euro/ ¥ Yen), I had no idea which currencies bear their own symbol.

Do you?

Here are a few you might not have known:

currency-symbols

Left to right:

Yuan Renminbi (China), Colón (Costa Rica), Rial (Iran), New Sheqel (Israel), Won (South Korea), Naira (Nigeria), Baht (Thailand).

So apart from China, none of the BRIC economies have their own currency symbol. Although Russia’s been searching since 1999.

The majority of nations in South America and the Caribbean bear the $ symbol.

What does any of this mean? Will a new symbol for the Rupee help transform India’s destiny into that of a “nation with Big Bellies”?

And should designers be paying for their crowdsourced work to compete?

Currency symbols elsewhere:

World Currency Symbols index.

– The story of the Euro Symbol: From Logo to Letter.

Bankface? Remixing bank notes.