20 Dec Typography
Typography is considered as the art along with the technique of arranging type (related to letters of written matter) in order to make written language comprehensible and appealing. This arrangement of type takes into account typefaces, line lengths, point sizes, letter-spacing (tracking), adjusting space between pairs of letters (kerning) and line spacing (leading). It also includes the style and appearance of written characters.
As per the basic concepts, a Typeface is a collection of fonts e.g. Helvetica is a typical typeface whereas Helvetica Bold is a related font. Fonts are developed depending on their usage. In the English language, fonts are characterized by three main types namely Serif (pointed stroke ending), Sans-Serif (without pointed stroke ending) and Script (calligraphic style). The concepts of Ascender (portion above x-height), Descender (portion below x-height) , Text-alignment, Hyphenation, Text-width, Point-size etc. are also considered crucial in typography.
Although the concept and need for typography emerged in the West specially due to the evolution of printing and later because of computer technology, its subsequent need for Indian languages, have also been felt lately. Around 780 languages, supported by 400 scripts, are used in India as per the records evaluated in 2013 by the Linguistic Survey of India. Moreover, India has a large base of readers of published materials in the world. Thus typefaces and fonts developed by Type designers have become indispensable. The Ahmadabad-based enterprise, Indian Type Foundry (ITF), has been instrumental in developing a font family known as Kohinoor, which aptly addresses this issue. The founder of ITF, Satya Rajpurohit’s contribution is thus well acknowledged in this regard. This font family (Kohinoor) is also incorporated in Apple Computers, one of the topmost brands in the computer world. He has also created a dedicated website “Fontstore.com”, which runs on subscription and caters to clients dealing with Indian languages. He entrusted 35 designers for the task of developing these commissioned fonts, over a period of two years and expects to increase the collection further in due time. According to him designing Indian typeface is more challenging compared to Latin, as in English there are only 26 letters whereas Indian languages contain approximately 800 characters. Another entrepreneur, Shiva Nallaperumal (listed in Forbes30 and recipient of SOTA-Society of Typographic Aficionados Catalyst Award) launched his experimental typeface, Calcula, which incorporates type designing along with the coding. As a matter of fact, the interest in Indic types is growing by leaps and bounds with the passage of time.