A New Symbol for the Indian Rupee
At long last, the Indian Rupee has a symbol! The symbol promotes the currency to a small club of elite world currencies which have been assigned a symbol of their own; the group includes the American dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen. The Indian government announced the search for a symbol for the rupee in 2009, opening up the search nationally and receiving in excess of 3000 responses. Five designs were shortlisted and on July 15th, at the Union Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet selected a design by D Udaya Kumar, an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati. Udaya, born in Tamil Nadu, specialises in graphics and is also the designer of a Tamil font named Parashakti, as well as a book on Tamil typography, which he both designed and wrote.
The brief was that the sign should ‘reflect and capture the Indian ethos and culture’. Udaya’s design is based on the Indian tricolour (the three horizontal bands of colour on the Indian flag). At the same time, the two parallel lines also bring the symbol in line with those of other world currencies. In addition, the symbol is also an amalgam of the Devanagari letter 'ra' and the Latinate 'R'.
The symbol will now be used officially, with immediate effect within India, and globally within 18 to 24 months. In turn, various new solutions for the usage of the symbol have been developed, such as an API which facilitates the use of the symbol on the internet. Desktop users can also download a rupee font provided by Foradian Technologies.
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