Metroplus

Chennai by the alphabet

How would you like to own an alphabetical poster? Well, not just any alphabetic poster, but one that lists out Chennai’s landmarks, icons and heritage buildings for each alphabet, with an accompanying sketch. Created by city-based architect Ravi Kumar Nair, the poster, Alphabetically Chennai, is fast becoming a collectible, especially with the ongoing Madras Week. Though not created specifically for the week, the poster has gained popularity over the last few days.

Says Ravi, “On a visit to Glasgow last year, I came across this poster called The Glasgow Alphabet, that had been created by Rosemary Cunningham. The simplicity and charm of the poster struck me, and I picked one up for myself. Once I returned to Chennai, I put it up on my office wall.” As he kept looking at the poster, he realised that there was tremendous potential to create a similar one for Chennai.

So, with due acknowledgement to Rosemary, the architect set about creating Alphabetically Chennai. While some work on the poster began last year, things were shelved due to the floods. It was earlier this year when the project really gathered steam, resulting in the finished poster by July. “It was a long process of sorts. I did the sketches myself — so I would redo a few if I didn’t like them or replace landmarks if something better came along,” he says.

While the concept of Alphabetically Chennai is rather similar to The Glasgow Alphabet, he even exchanged ideas for the same with Rosemary when he set about creating the poster. Some of the popular Chennai landmarks that feature on the poster include Egmore Railway station, Metro Rail, Express Avenue, St. George’s Cathedral, Queen Mary’s College, Ripon Building, Higginbothams, National Art Gallery and the Vandalur Zoo. According to Ravi, the list is a mix of heritage icons and a few modern landmarks that define Chennai.

“I created the sketches and did the layout myself, before approaching a printer. The poster has been on sale at Chamiers for a few weeks now, but with Madras Week, it has gained more prominence,” explains Ravi.

The poster has been printed in two formats — one is 16” in width and 28” in length with four alphabets across, and the other 12.5” in width and 38.5” in length with three alphabets across. Both formats come in two variants — black letters on a white background and white letters on a black background.

Priced at Rs. 650, the posters are available at Chamiers. Alternately, one could contact Ravi Kumar Nair on 98410 19944.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:25:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Chennai-by-the-alphabet/article14588900.ece

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