Channel: Life & Style

Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Philosophy and Design behind the Indian Rupee Symbol
India’s increasing economic might along with China’s has been the highlight since the start of this millennium.

India’s increasing economic might along with China’s has been the highlight since the start of this millennium. Henceforth, the growing influence of the Indian currency inspired Indian government enough to come up with a symbol that bring in a separate identity as well as distinctive character to the Indian currency. This symbol is going to represent Indian economy’s increasing strength and its global face.


This symbol will not only put Indian currency on the world map but it will also differentiate Indian rupee from Pakistani rupee, Sri Lankan rupee etc. This symbol put India into a club where in it joins the elite currencies like the USD - $, British Pound - £, Euro - € and Japanese Yen - ¥.


What all it took Mr. Udaya - Assistant Professor in Department of Design ,IIT Guwahati - to design this symbol which not only represents the Indian culture and ethos but also a lot of calculations and immense thinking that set this design apart from the rest. We decided to take insights from Mr. Udaya himself on the creation of this masterpiece that is a product of immense logical thinking.


Design of the symbol
If design had to represent the Indian culture and ethos, it also had to take care of the global audiences as well. Hence, it is the amalgamation of both Devanagari ["?" (Ra)] and Latin script “R”. The letters are derived from Rupiah and Rupees in English – currency for both Indian and Foreign nationals thereby establishing a direct relation between the symbol and Indian rupee.


Shiro Rekha in Devanagari script, the horizontal top line, explicitly states the Indianess of the symbol. The two horizontal lines with white spaces in between represent the national flag at the top of the symbol. These two lines also represent equality to a common man.


In this localization, Globalization and Privatization (LPG) era, it boils down to the comparison of economies and hence currencies. Currencies, like economies, are relative to the other. Therefore, the arithmetic sign denotes the relationship of comparison of currency values i.e.



This excellent design too reflects the harmony with the other designs i.e. $, £, ¥, €.


This Symbol is an exemplary in showing balanced and stable economy as the left inclination of ‘Ra’ is balanced by the two horizontal strokes inclined in the opposite direction. These visual forces are balanced to make the symbol stands firm.


The symbol has to be simple enough which could give the high legibility, recall value and easy to write, design and construct. Therefore, Mr. Udaya has designed in a manner that ensures that it one can carve out this design within three strokes.


The simplicity of the visual form of design and imagery also captures the philosophical portion of a human being. The design is easy to recognize and recall by all age group people, societies, religions and cultures. It does create deep impact in the minds of the people.


Note: Mr. Udaya Kumar Dharmalingam, who earlier was a PHD student at IDC IIT-Bombay, has provided the above information. He presently works with IIT Guwahati as the Assistant Professor in Department of Design. He is the winner of the Indian currency symbol design competition that saw thousands of entries from across the country.


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