Jyotish Sonowal | jyotish.rip@gmail.com

A Family of Unicode Compliant Assamese and Bengali Text Typefaces

Guide Immanuel Suresh
Sponsor Indian Type Foundry
Keywords calligraphy;digital fonts;Fontlab Studio;typography

The Indian Type Foundry (ITF) is the first company to develop and directly distribute high quality digital fonts in India. This project was about designing a Unicode compliant family of Assamese and Bengali text typefaces for use in newspapers, books, and magazines.

The main intention of the project was to understand the basics of typeface design—right from conceptualisation, drawing, and refinement, to programming the final font; while continuing to work on a complex Indian script.

The project began with some initial research about the script. This was followed by drawing the letters to understand the structure, form, and proportions; calligraphy was done prior to digitising the characters. Softwares such as Fontlab Studio helped draw the characters in detail; while, Microsoft VOLT ensured that the font was programmed properly and the characters correctly rendered on any text editing or layout application. After many stages of refinements and improvements, a fully functional font family called Tulika, was completed. It was released by the sponsor in May 2012. At every stage, it was important to stand back and analyse various aspects of the design.

The learning gained from this project has been immense; it taught a lot about the intricacies of designing a typeface; it demanded a lot of hard work, patience, enthusiasm, and love for typography. This project helped widen one’s perspective about type design.
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