Designer of the Week: Shiva Nallaperumal

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Meet Print’s latest Designer of the Week, Shiva Nallaperumal, who aims to create beautiful, meaningful and useful typeface design and more, all while helping to make Indian graphic design a significant part of the global design scene.

Name: Shiva Nallaperumal

Location: Chennai, India / Baltimore, USA

Websites: | |

Design Schools Attended: Communication Design, DJ Academy of Design, India; MFA Graphic Design, Maryland Institute College of Art.


How would you describe your work?I would like to think of my work as driven by the problem that needs to be solved. I’ve tried to elude a specific style of any kind and to keep quality as the only common thread between all the work: content-driven design. I am interested in varied things, and I’ve wanted that to reflect in my work.

Where do you find inspiration? Problems, books of any kind, cinema, new tools.

Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?Peter Bilak, Abbott Miller, Tal Leming, Christian Schwartz, W.A. Dwiggins, Wim Crouwel, Folkert Gorter, Satyajit Ray, Studio Dumbar, Metahaven, Keith Harring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marcel Duchamp.


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Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?I loved working on all the projects I have been fortunate enough to work on. Off the top of my mind I enjoyed working on the branding and collateral for Typenite, an event at MICA. It is a favorite because I got to design for my heroes Abbott Miller and Tal Leming and graphically explore their life and work in my own way.

Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?The design of the typeface Labyrinth (Working Title). The typeface is pseudo artificially intelligent and the design process was equal parts design and programming. For the project I collaborated with and was guided by Tal [Leming], who created the advance opentype features while I designed the system of glyphs. We have been working on it for almost two years now, and [it] will soon be published commercially.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?To help bring Indian design to the global context. To design meaningful, useful and beautiful things.

What’s your best advice for designers today?Don’t be precious. Don’t compromise on quality. Collaborate as much as you can.

More work by Nallaperumal:



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And don’t miss the latest issue, in which Print talks with “mad typographic scientist” Oded Ezer—a designer who manages to astonish, amaze and incense while simultaneously alter the way we look at type.