36 DAYS OF TYPE 2021

Conceptualisation | Illustrations | Layouts

#PersonalProject 

Conceptualisation and Illustrations

Mihir Lele

Brief

36 Days of Type is a project that invites designers, illustrators and graphic artists to express their particular interpretation of the letters and numbers of the Latin alphabet.

Happening every year in March, the participants are challenged to design the letters (26) and numbers (10) of the English alphabet, each day for 36 consecutive days, as a global and simultaneous act showing the outcome of the ability to represent the same symbols from thousands of different perspectives. 

For each edition, participants share their artworks via Instagram by uploading their creations to their profiles and using the project hashtags to enter the challenge.

One can choose to participate in the first leg of the challenge (26 letters excluding the 0-9 numbers) , which is to design the letters A to Z, which is what I chose to do.

Synopsis

For this year's (2021) 26 Days of Type, I presented a series on the lockdown as a social and cultural phenomenon- changes that we as individuals observed in our day to day lives, that we realised were common cultural experiences for most of us.

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“A” for Address to the nation

The day it all began!

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“B” - Birthday for one

Lockdown birthdays characterised by staying at home and receiving care packages from your friends via @swiggyindia genie and @wefast.delivery (P.S. Thank you for keeping us connected during this time)

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“C” for Cleaning

(and cardio to some extent 🤭 )

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“D” for Doing the Dishes

EVERY NIGHT 😭

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“E” for Electricity Bills

Remember when EVERYONE in Maharashtra got electricity bills amounting to almost their entire month's salary?! And Adani Electricity, MSEB and BEST responded by saying, "pehle bill bharo, fir complaint dalo" (first pay the bill, then put in the complaint) and the same thing happened next month? Remember? Well that was wild! ⚡💡

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“F” for Frontline Workers

A term I personally had zero idea about, but has now become part of our daily vocabulary in just a few months. These heroes keep us safe by showing up to work, every single day! 🙏

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“G” for Game Night/ Day/ Afternoon/ Evening/ Dawn/ Dusk

All day errydayyy 🕹️ 🎮 🎲 ♟️ 🌈 🙃

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"H" for Hand sanitiser

The most essential item on you, whenever you step out. 🙋‍♂️ 💦

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"I" for Internet

The only reason we were sane during the lockdown. Right from COVID related Information to Netflix watch parties, from Spotify playlists that brought cheer to an excruciating mopping session, to team meetings, that made work accessible and helped us get a routine back in an otherwise disorienting time, the internet made our life seem a little less strange.

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"J" for Jungle

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“K” for काढा (Kadha- Decoction)

Everyone had their own unique recipe to brew this immunity booster during the lockdown - share your fav recipes in the comments. God knows we're going to need them now  🍋

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“L” for Learning

With time on their hands, people took up new hobbies and new challenges to keep themselves busy during the lockdown. So many of us took up cooking, out of necessity at first, but then discovered our love for it! Just look at the number of home chefs that came out of the pandemic  🍽️ 👨‍🍳 🥘 🍪

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"M" for Masks

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“N" for a post lunch NAP while working from home during the lockdown.

Little moments of calm during these strange times.

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“O” for Oximeters

The one thing that became as common as basic furniture in every house during the pandemic.

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“P” for Pyjamas and plants for company 👖 🦋 🌻 🌹 🌷 🌵

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"Q" for Questions

New lockdown rules, restrictions, mandates- complete or partial lockdown 😵 😷

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"R" for Rationing

- essential food items on a weekly basis during the lockdown.

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"S" for Stray animals

And the brave soldiers of our society who made sure these poor babies didn't go hungry during the lockdown! Covid heroes, who relentlessly went out every night during the lockdown, to save a very important section of our society.

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"T" for Travel bans

- that had repercussions across all sections of our society- from the tourism and hospitality industry taking a hit to labourers walking home due to these restrictions- Which was one of the most disheartening news of last year, to say the least.

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"U" for Ulterior Motives

With cases and deaths at their all time high and infrastructure at it's lowest, I can't help but recall a time last year, when millions of people from all walks of life, donated their hard earned money with blind trust to this care fund that was apparently going to be used to fight the 'battle against corona'. What happened to that money? Where is it being used? Why is there no information available to the people who donated that money? Why isn't the PM addressing this? Will we ever get these answers?

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“V” for Vaccination Drive

As India reports the highest daily surge in the world with over 3.46 lakh Covid infections as of yesterday morning, one really hopes for a better vaccination rollout- one where the centre and state can just resolve their differences and stop playing politics with people’s lives.

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"W" for Working out from home

Personally helped me maintain a routine and have something to look forward to! A special shoutout to @becurefit app for curating some fun sessions. 🏋️ 😅

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"X" for XOXO

The only acceptable  form of hugs and kisses that one can offer/ accept during a pandemic.

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"Y" for Yelling Internally

The lockdown, although a grave requirement in light of the pandemic, had some serious effects on the mental health of many. There was a rise in feelings of isolation and loneliness amongst people who were cut off from their friends, families and loved ones for months on end. Each and every one of us has heard of at least one person who committed suicide due to depression/ some form of mental illness, induced by the lockdown and its effects.

So many of us, including me, are extremely lucky to have friends and loved ones who checked up on us regularly, throughout this time. Also thankful to therapists, psychologists, comedians, You-Tubers and anyone who tried to make this time a little better with their efforts.

With everything thats been going on in the past couple of weeks,  it would be a good time to check up on your friends and loved ones make sure they’re doing okay. Love and Prayers.

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"Z" for Time-out Zone

With the second wave at its worst and India in an emergency-like crisis state, there's a lot of disturbing news and information floating around.

So while you continue to be a responsible citizen and help those in need, do remember to take time off for your mental well being.

Limit the use of social media and your information intake from time to time and remember to have plenty of water, take all the necessary precautions while stepping out and be mindful and positive while helping others.

Overview

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The series was received very well for being relatable and honest. 

It got featured in the Mid-Day, as part of their coverage of Indian artists who took part in this challenge. For a link to the article- Click here

One of the posts (Q) also got featured on India Food Network as the visual for their COVID relief efforts during the second wave of the pandemic in India.

The Instagram Reel compilation of this project has over 10k views on Instagram- Click here to watch

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