Rathna Ramanathan


Rathna Ramanathan, principle of Minus9 Design, is from Chennai, India and is currently based in London. She holds a PhD in the History of Graphic Communication and Typography at the University of Reading and an MA in Communication Design from Central St Martins. Rathna has taught design and typography in India and is now the Head of Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, London. Her main interest is in typography – as showcased in many of Tara Press’s titles – as well as in the changing form of the book. She is the Association Typographique Internationale [ATypI] Country Delegate for India. A practising designer, Rathna splits her time between India and the UK and her work for Tara Publishing has received a number of international design awards.

"I teach for Type Camp because their educational model reminds me of the Indian gurukul system where teachers and students lived and studied together and looked after each other like a family. I also enjoy bringing together typography and the contexts behind design (language, culture, society, politics, economics etc.) which Type Camp India allows me to do."


Living in London I miss Indian food and make sure to bring home-made spices back with me after every trip to Chennai. When I'm in Chennai, I miss the treats I get in London and make sure to carry a slab of plain old Dairy Milk Chocolate with me :)


I'm interested in how I am now reading on a tablet but also in print. It means that my reading is more fragmented with texts feeding into one another. I'm thoroughly enjoying it and gobbling up all the texts I can find. I do most of reading on the tube to work.


My favourite drink on a summer's day would either be a G&T or a fresh tender coconut water.


I'm not sure about which I love more - watching Indian television or the Indian ads! Probably the latter. One of my favourite ads is Nakka Mukka for the Times of India Chennai newspaper.


I love it when my job 'forces' me to travel. I love every aspect of travel - the transit, the flight or train ride, fellow travellers. I guess it comes from the fact that my parents got me travelling very early - my first flight was when I was 4 years old from Madras to Colombo!


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There are very few blogs worth reading. My thought is that if you're going to blog, do it like James Mosley or don't do it all.


When I stop killing off my plants, I'll get a pet :)


Type: Indic typography and book design
Personal: Expert Indian travel guide and hostess :)
But seriously I would like to consider myself a student for life - constantly learning from others I teach with and for.

when not at type camp

Free time? What free time?