A new sign for the Indian rupee was introduced exactly a year ago and was immediately assigned a position in the Unicode standard. Many people were skeptical as to whether the new symbol would be accepted and used, but looking at the publishing and advertising world in India today, we have to conclude that the adoption rate for the new rupee sign is stunning. Our unscientific estimate is that 75% of prices now use the new currency symbol. The rupee symbol, a blend of the Devanagari ‘Ra’ and Roman ‘R’ gives India a symbol of confidence and recognition in the global economy.
Both Euro and Rupee symbols were originally conceived as logos, with fixed proportions, so they have no relationship with the style of the font that they have to work with.
Compared to the adoption of the Euro symbol, the adoption of the rupee sign has been much faster, but there are some similarities. For example, both symbols were introduced as logos rather than glyphs, meaning that the symbols had a fixed appearance that worked well with surrounding text in regular width fonts like Helvetica, but not with light, heavy, or more ornamental fonts.
Note how poorly the Rupee symbol works in this sample from the Times of India. The symbol is too light and too small for the bold and condensed headline.
We at Indian Type Foundry have decided to adopt the symbol and to include it in all our fonts. Furthermore, we have decided to design and release a free font with the new rupee sign in various styles and weights. While the Unicode value of the new glyph is 0x20B9, in this font we encoded the 20 variations under capital letters A–T. Feel free to use it and show us examples of how it works for you.
The free ITF Rupee font comes in a range of styles — from Sans to Serif, to Condensed and Rounded, each in multiple weights to match any style of numerals.