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Audiogyan (founded in 2016) is a collection of conversations with luminaries of the Indian creative world. It’s a passion project to document thoughts and ideas of Indian designers, artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, and luminaries of the creative world.


34: Satyajit Ray; The Graphic Designer with Pinaki De

This episode is brought to you by MUBI ( , a curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Get a whole month free! - at MUBI ( . MUBI ( showcases a wide range of iconic Satyajit Ray films! Ray, is also our topic of discussion today, but not as a filmmaker but as a Graphic Designer.

I have Pinaki De back with us on Audiogyan. I have given a detailed intro about him and his huge body of work in the previous episode - so here is a quick one. Pinaki is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, book cover designer, comic artist, and teaches English literature in Kolkatta.

Thank you Pinaki for giving your time and welcome back to Audiogyan.

In the previous episode we spoke about Book Cover design, this episode is about your passion to explore Satyajit Ray's work of a graphic designer. The director’s revolutionary films often overshadow his work as an illustrator and graphic designer, his graphical sensibilities as rich and diverse as his filmography. Let's jump right in right away...

A brief intro about Ray's breadth and depth of work w.r.t Graphic Design. How he designed type from cassette to film hoardings.

Satyajit Da's contribution to the Indian landscape of graphic design. Which patterns/styles became famous after he did it?

Can you talk about "Agantuk" or also called as "The stranger" poster (which is also available o MUBI). I guess it was inspired by straight lines of the Bauhaus movement.

Tell us a bit about, where was Ray's inspiration from? Kolkatta is social and has been chaotic for a long time, where and how did minimalism seep in, that, it started reflecting in his work?

Can you tell me, which were the top 3 characteristics of his work? For eg: usage of white space, usage of lines and grids, color palette, attention to detail, etc...

Did his usage of graphics/illustrations change after the wave of cheap printing techniques and papers started flowing the market?

Satyajit had made 3 fonts also as a type designer. A bit more about that?

What would you tell students of Graphic Design or illustration to learn from Satyajit Ray? What aspect should be ignored from his work?

Now to tell you a bit more about MUBI - it’s a film streaming service, showcasing the best of Indian cinema on their MUBI INDIA channel and classic international hits on MUBI WORLD with a new film every day on each channel. You can catch some of Satyajit Ray's insightful work on MUBI including iconic films like AGANTUK, GANASHATRU, and GHARE BAIRE. Get access to the best of hand-picked films absolutely free for 30 days at

AGANTUK - Satyajit Ray’s last film, Agantuk is a philosophical work that ponders about the evolution of civilization, human nature, and how in the present world value of material wealth far exceeds that of humanity, trust, and love. One of Utpal Dutt's finest performances

GANASHATRU - A scathing commentary on the social system and religious orthodoxies, this film highlights the ever-persistent conflict between rationality and religion, which is fueled by the greed of the powerful and naivete of blind faith.

GHARE BAIRE – Deftly juxtaposes and explores the early 20th-century nationalist movement and the emancipation of women—a recurrent theme of Satyajit Ray’s work.

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