Pooja Saxena is the most recent member of the TypeTogether team, joining in May 2017. As a New Delhi native, she designs Indic scripts such as Bengali and Devanagari. One of her most prized possessions is a collection of 300 or 400 newspapers (it’s hard to count!) from all over the world — a deep resource of scripts and languages. When she is not designing type, taking pictures of public lettering, or reading hundreds of books each year, you might find Pooja baking, cooking, and barbecuing (her new favourite pastime) in her garden.
1 · Where is your office located?
I am originally from a suburb of New Delhi called Noida. I moved back last year after some years of being away, so my office is located in my home there.
2 · In what countries or cities have you lived?
I have lived in Noida, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad in India, in Reading in the UK, and in Sunnyvale and Cupertino in the US.
3 · What kind of music do you listen to, if you do, when working?
I usually don’t listen to music while working. Instead I mostly listen to podcasts and audio books. Stephen Fry’s Harry Potter renditions are a favourite, as are the old BBC Asimov books. Other times, I will stream a TV show or movie to run in the background.
5 · What are your love/hate glyphs when designing fonts?
I have a very serious love-hate relationship with drawing the Devanagari letter क.
7 · What is your hobby when not designing fonts?
I love to spend time in my garden. Even though I know that plants take a long time to grow and an even longer time to fruit and flower, I like to see how far along they are every day. I also love to cook for myself and for my friends and family, who I entertain often. My house is full of books and design books make up only a fraction. I am an obsessive reader — last year I read 100 books, not counting what I read for work. I also collect stamps and newspapers from around the world.
8 · You have one opportunity to do something different in your life. What do you choose?
I would study mathematics instead of studying design. Maybe become a statistician?
9 · What is your favourite word?
I don’t know about English, but my favourite word in Hindi is किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ (kinkartavyavimūrh, in case you want to try it!). It means bewildered, and both its length and spelling make it pretty bewildering itself.
10 · What is the most amazing script you have worked with and why?
A couple of years ago, I designed a typeface in the Ol Chiki script. It is a minority script in India, which looked nothing like what I had worked with before. It was created less than 100 years ago and its invented shapes have a lot of flipping vertically and horizontally. That made it super hard to learn and recognise the letters.