Chittara Typecraft—how a floor decoration became a font

Region: Shimoga district, Karnataka


Chittara is an artform in which clay paste is used to create geometric patterns on the floors and walls of entrances of houses.


This artform, which originated from ancient cave paintings, eventually found its

way to the walls and floors of village homes. The Kannada word chittara (which is related to chittra ) means an image or design. Historically, chittara has been

practiced by women of the Deewaru community in Karnataka’s Sagar district.

Chittara patterns were painted in village homes on auspicious occasions, to

welcome the gods. These paintings are a part of family and community rituals

associated with festivities, and only the woman of the house makes these patterns. Today, Chittara is a languishing craft, with supposedly only five families practising it in the state of Karnataka.


Workshops with artisans vary from project to project and is dependent on how

literate the craftswomen are and how much exposure they have had. Since Radha Sullur, whom we worked with is literate in English, it was easier for her to

understand the nuances of letter shapes, although, we had to explain the rules of type design, to her, as well as explore how this specific artwork can be transformed into type. 


Craftsperson/Artist: Radha Sullur

Type Developer: Andreu Balius 

Type Designers: Ishan Khosla, Flora Brochier, Aditya Singh Tomar

Craft-Cordinator: Ishan Khosla

Chittara Typeface (Latin script font)

SKU: 001
$25.00 Regular Price
$19.95Sale Price
  • Copyright 2020 | Chittara Latin Script Typeface Project Authors (

    This Font Software is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1.This license is copied below, and is also available with a FAQ at: OPEN FONT LICENSE Version 1.1 - 09 March 2020-----------------------------------------------------------PREAMBLEThe goals of the Open Font License (OFL) are to stimulate worldwide development of collaborative font projects, to support the font creation efforts of academic and linguistic communities, and to provide a free and open framework in which fonts may be shared and improved in partnership with others.The OFL allows the licensed fonts to be used, studied, modified and redistributed freely as long as they are not sold by themselves. The fonts, including any derivative works, can be bundled, embedded, redistributed and/or sold with any software provided that any reserved names are not used by derivative works. The fonts and derivatives, however, cannot be released under any other type of license. The requirement for fonts to remain under this license does not apply to any document created using the fonts or their derivatives.DEFINITIONS"Font Software" refers to the set of files released by the Copyright Holder(s) under this license and clearly marked as such. This may include source files, build scripts and documentation."Reserved Font Name" refers to any names specified as such after the copyright statement(s)."Original Version" refers to the collection of Font Software components as distributed by the Copyright Holder(s)."Modified Version" refers to any derivative made by adding to, deleting, or substituting -- in part or in whole -- any of the components of the Original Version, by changing formats or by porting the Font Software to a new environment."Author" refers to any designer, engineer, programmer, technical writer or other person who contributed to the Font Software.PERMISSION & CONDITIONSPermission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of the Font Software, to use, study, copy, merge, embed, modify, redistribute, and sell modified and unmodified copies of the Font Software, subject to the following conditions:1) Neither the Font Software nor any of its individual components, in Original or Modified Versions, may be sold by itself.2) Original or Modified Versions of the Font Software may be bundled, redistributed and/or sold with any software, provided that each copy contains the above copyright notice and this license. These can be included either as stand-alone text files, human-readable headers or in the appropriate machine-readable metadata fields within text orbinary files as long as those fields can be easily viewed by the user.3) No Modified Version of the Font Software may use the Reserved Font Name(s) unless explicit written permission is granted by the corresponding Copyright Holder. This restriction only applies to the primary font name as spresented to the users.4) The name(s) of the Copyright Holder(s) or the Author(s) of the FontSoftware shall not be used to promote, endorse or advertise anyModified Version, except to acknowledge the contribution(s) of theCopyright Holder(s) and the Author(s) or with their explicit writtenpermission.5) The Font Software, modified or unmodified, in part or in whole,must be distributed entirely under this license, and must not bedistributed under any other license. The requirement for fonts toremain under this license does not apply to any document createdusing the Font Software.TERMINATIONThis license becomes null and void if any of the above conditions arenot met.DISCLAIMERTHE FONT SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OFMERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENTOF COPYRIGHT, PATENT, TRADEMARK, OR OTHER RIGHT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THECOPYRIGHT HOLDER BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIALDAMAGES, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISINGFROM, OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE FONT SOFTWARE OR FROMOTHER DEALINGS IN THE FONT SOFTWARE. Authors: Ishan Khosla, Andreu Balius

  • Since this typeface doesn't have lowercase glyphs, the encoding for both upper and lowercase is the same. This means typing in a lowercase "b" or an uppercase "B" will always give you the uppercase letter.