Lucky contest winner Udaya Kumar, 31, got chosen to design the first symbol India will use for their national currency, the Rupee.Until now, the Rupee was completely symbol-free. Signs for other currencies like $ , £ , and € are everywhere, but India had nothing.
Now Kumar’s design will take the place next to huge (and small sums) of money.
We don’t even have a way to type it yet, so here it is in photo form.
The New York Times describes the way it looks like as a legless “R” with two horizontal lines at the top. It’s very cool.
“I feel really great. I don’t have words to express my happiness. Really thrilled,” said Kumar to a television news channel, according to The Times of India.
Kumar didn’t know he was going to win the design contest, but he was pretty confident.
He thought linking it to the Hindi script gave him an extra something.
The symbol is a blend between a letter from the Devnagiri calligraphy and the letter “R”. “I thought I had an edge,” said Kumar to The Times of India.
For the young designer, who wrote on his Web site that he loves “creating, designing jewelries and accessories from junk materials”, this will probably be his break-through.
A research scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kumar entered and won a design competition with over 3,000 entries. According to the Indian newspaper DNA, he received an award of Rs 2.5 Lakh (about $5,300).
As far as his personal life goes, he’s about to become assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology branch in Guwahati, in East India.
Kumar has a Phd in design from the IIT in Mumbai, and a Master’s degree from the Industrial Design centre of the same school. He also earned a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from Anna University in Chennai in 2001, the city in Tamil Nadu where he grew up. He specialises in typography and calligraphy.
The symbol has been approved by the Union Cabinet today, and the Indian government promised to embrace it within 6 months. On an international level, recognition might take up to 24 months. Kumar’s design won’t be printed on Rupee notes, but eventually it will be used by national and international media outlets.