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Home / Mumbai News / Coming soon: Icons for chaat stalls

Coming soon: Icons for chaat stalls

A group of designers, with an open-source initiative inviting professional and amateur designers are trying to create India-specific icons to symbolise everything from chaat stalls and vada pav to snake- charmers and farmers.

mumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2013 10:15 IST
Humaira Ansari
Humaira Ansari
Hindustan Times

You usually know that a food court is nearby from signs depicting burgers or pizzas and cola bottles.

For hot beverages, the icon is a mug of steaming coffee — even in a nation of cutting-chai drinkers. And there is no universally acknowledged icon to warn motorists of a cowcrossing ahead.

As an initial step in the process of collating such icons, Goa-based branding and design firm Beard Design is holding the second in a series of ‘marathons’ this weekend, inviting design fans to attend and sketch icons for an Indian audience.

All icons created at these events — the first was in Goa in June, the next is in Mumbai in October, with the rest of the calendar still evolving — will eventually be uploaded on, a website that aims to offer a curated archive of Indian icons.

The website is expected to go live in November, with icons classified under categories such as food, people, culture and mythology, among others. will eventually allow users to download icons free for personal projects, with a possible nominal charge for commercial use.

“Whether it’s stock images or graphics, our overall design aesthetic tends to be more Western than Indian,” said Abhisek Sarda, 29, founder of Beard Design. “This needs to change.”

This weekend’s event, called Iconomic Meltdown, will be held on August 10 at Ecole Intuit.Lab in Parel. “I often rely on Western databases when creating icons,” said Mumbai based web designer Sitara Shah, 22, who will be participating.

“It is a great idea to have a resource of Indian icons,” said Shah.

The next ‘marathon’ will be held in Mumbai, in October.

For details, visit or