Prajwal Xavier, a Kochi-based youth, is setting a new trend among trippers bitten by the photo bug. His destination photos are different from the ones that flood social media these days. Instead of geo-tagging his photos, he writes the place name on a piece of paper in styles depicting the character of the place and holds it on the foreground of the picture.
The way Prajwal wrote ‘Kochi Marine Drive’ gave his photo a ‘cinematic’ feel. Similarly, when he wrote ‘SM Street’, ‘Beach’ etc., all Prajwal wanted was to instil the feel of Kozhikode in his viewers. The youth comes up with an idea about the calligraphy he needed to use for each location before starting off to that place.“Almost all my travels are solo, which gives enough time to enjoy the trip. I don’t miss any chance to draw place names, even in a cafeteria,” he said.
Travelling is becoming more popular and people consider it as a sort of entertainment. Prajwal realized about the popularity of his approach from his Instagram comments. He wanted to do something different and started clicking photos with place names in the foreground after getting inspired by an international travel group in Instagram.
All those who saw Prajwal's photos liked them. The images, in fact, are virtually an introduction to the place which is seen in the background.
Lalbagh in Bengaluru is the first places where Prajwal tried this style of photography. “If a visitor wants to feel the pulse of Bengaluru, then Lalbagh is the ideal place. During evenings, the place comes to life and looks like a mini India,” said Prajwal. He drew the name keeping these points in mind. All his friends liked the photo and his Instagram account was flooded with positive comments. The youth then decided to take his affair with 'typhotography' (typography + photography) seriously. He soon travelled to Chennai, Mahabalipuram, SM Street, Jewish Synagogue in Kochi and many other places, creating matching letters to display place names.
Prajwal's love for typography began as early as schooldays. His friends used to pester Prajwal for writing their names on book covers. Teachers were also fans of Prajwal's typography; his design of ‘Mathematics’ written using symbols was a huge hit among them.
Later when Prajwal joined polytechnic (electronics), he tackled many of the technical terms using typography. Writing those terms artistically on notebooks helped him memorise them with ease.
“Whenever I feel idle, I keep honing my typography skill. As English has numerous fonts and various styles, I opted for Malayalam to make it more challenging for me,” he said.
After completing the course, Prajwal spent a year in Kochi doing odd jobs. But realizing that he had to be serious about a career, headed to Bengaluru, where he joined a digital marketing firm.
“There was plenty of free time after work. It was then that I started travelling. Initially, I visited various places in Bengaluru,” said the youth.
Prajwal is the son of Xavier and Jolfy of Panangad in Ernakulam.