Page 1

national institue of fashion technology

homologous nature in different languages

typo graphic

Integrated term project anmol rl | fc - 5 Homologous nature of typeface

Integrated Term Project

hinglishgujlishurdugujrati hebrewlatinmarwaarioriya

tamilkannadamalayalamtelegu hindienglishmandarinspanish assamesemanipurinagadogri bengalibhojpuribiharipunjabizulu haryanvipahadikumauniportugese



tamilkannadamalayalamteleg hindienglishmandarinspanish assamesemanipurinagadogri



tableofcontents objective........1 typography............3 evolution history factors

typeface........8 anatomy

language............13 english: evolution history devanagari romanagari

cross cultural typography.......18 what is it Studies

research............21 the hinglish project the gandhiji font project styled


integrated term project To conduct an extensive study starting right from the origin and evolution of spoken and written languages to what is common and the modern day language English. Also to study the languages spoken today such as Hindi, Latin and other regional languages , study the typeface development and design,anatomy of it and draw a comparison between the languages. There is a startling similarity in design and appearance of the typeface, to explore in that direction and get insight into typeface development.



Cross Cultural Influences on Typography



any people don’t usually even think about what font they are using but typeface is an important piece in writing and communicating with each other. Typography goes back to when humans first started writing and it has been evolving ever since. Here is a look back on the history of typography. For as long as written word has existed,typography has existed. From its roots in the origin of time and the origin of communication in the million pound industry it lives in today is tremendous. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible.


evolution of



ypography traces its origins to the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times.The typographical principle, that is the creation of a complete text by reusing the identical characters. The first type of messages that we find in the history records were a series of pictures that told a connected story known as pictographs.From pictographs developed more sophisticated ways of communicating through apt ideographs.Ideographs substituted symbols and abstractions for pictures of events. Native Americans and Egyptians are examples of who used ideographs.Chinese alphabets are still based on ideographs.


At around 1200 BC, the Phoenicians gained their independence from the Egyptians and developed their own alphabet that was the first to be composed exclusively of letters. The Greeks adopted the Phoenician language and began to develop the true beginnings of our modern alphabet. The Greeks refined the Phoenician language by adding the first vowels (5 of them).Their language did not have punctuation,lowercase letters or spaces between words. Individual letter tiles where the words are formed by assembling single letter tiles in the desired order were reasonably widespread in medieval North Europe.




The Roman Revolution The next great civilization, the Romans further developed the alphabet by using 23 letters from the Etruscans who based their language on the Greek. They took the letters ABEZHIKMNOTXY intact, they remodeled the CDGLPRSV and revived two Phoenicians letters discarded by the Greeks, the F and Q. The Z comes at the end of our alphabet because for a while the Romans discarded it, but then brought it back when they thought it was indispensable. The Romans contributed short finishing strokes at the end of letters known as serifs. Roman letters feature the first examples of thick and thin strokes.Lowercase letters developed because all type was hand copied by scribes who developed less ornate handwriting styles and started using quicker and smaller versions of the letters.The first system of lowercase letterforms was known as the semiuncial. The U and W were slowly added and based on the letter V by the year 1000 and the J, which was based on the I was added by 1500. Spacing between words was not generally adopted until the eleventh century. Punctuation marks developed in the 16th century when printing became prevalent.


factors affecting



raditional typography follows four principles them being repetition, contrast,proximity, and alignment. In traditional typography, text is composed to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying whole that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader. Even distribution of typeset material, with a minimum of distractions and anomalies, is aimed at producing clarity and transparency. Choice of typeface is the primary aspect of typography, prose fiction, non-fiction,editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements of apt


typefaces and fonts. Typography is modulated by orthography and linguistics, word structures, word frequencies, morphology, phonetic constructs and linguistic syntax. Typography is also subject to specific cultural conventions. Readability and legibility of the typeface also plays a vital role in typography development to ensure that each individual character or glyph is unambiguous and distinguishable from all other characters in the font. Legibility is also in part the concern of the typographer to select a typeface with appropriate clarity of design for the intended use at the intended size.

typography typography typography typography typography typography typography typography typography typographytypography




what is

typeface? An artistic interpretation, or design, of a collection of alphanumeric symbols. A typeface may include letters, numerals, punctuation, various symbols, and more — often for multiple languages. A typeface is usually grouped together in a family containing individual fonts for italic, bold, and other variations of the primary design.



anatomy of


Typeface anatomy describes the graphic elements that make up printed letters in a typeface. Stem - A main vertical stroke is called a stem. The letter m has three, the left, middle, and right stems. Spine - The central stroke of an s is called the spine. Serif - The small corner formed by a serif, whether rounded or angular, is called the serif bracket. The bottom of the loop-tailed g is called a loop; the very short stroke at the top is called the ear. i j each have a dot or tittle. Angles of strokes are called apices if at the top and vertices if at the bottom. w has one apex and two vertices; v has one vertex. 11

Bowl The curved part of the character that encloses the circular or curved parts (counter) of some letters such as ‘d’, ‘b’, ‘o’, ‘D’, and ‘B’ is the bowl. X-height The height of the lowercase letters, disregarding ascenders or descenders, typically exemplified by the letter x. The relationship of the x-height to the body defines the perceived type size. A typeface with a large x-height looks much bigger than a typeface with a small x-height at the same size. Ascender Any part in a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height, found for example in b, d, f, h, k, etc. Some types of ascenders have specific names. Baseline The imaginary line upon which the letters in a font appear to rest. Descender Any part in a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, found for example in g, j, p, q, y, etc. Some types of descenders have specific names. Counter The enclosed or partially enclosed circular or curved negative space (white space) of some letters such as d, o, and s is the counter. Crossbar The (usually) horizontal stroke across the middle of uppercase ‘A’ and ‘H’ is a crossbar.




nglish is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders and/or settlers from various parts of what is now parts of northwest Germany and the Netherlands. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain. The English language underwent extensive change in the Middle Ages. Written Old English of AD 1000 is similar in vocabulary and grammar tOld Norse, and completely unintelligible to modern speakers, while the modern language is already largely recognisable in written Middle English of AD 1400.


Proto-English The languages of Germanic peoples gave rise to the English language. Latin loan words such as wine, cup, and bishop entered the vocabulary of these Germanic peoples before their arrival in Britain and the subsequent formation of England.

Old English – from the mid-5th century to the mid-11th century After the Anglo-Saxon invasion, language possibly displaced the indigenous languages and Latin in most of the areas of Great Britain that later became England. The original Celtic languages remained in parts of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, although large numbers of compound Celtic-Germanic placenames survive, hinting at early language mixing.What is now called Old English emerged over time out of the many dialects and languages of the colonising tribes.

Middle English – from the late 11th to the late 15th century For centuries following the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Norman kings and high-ranking nobles spoke one of the French langues d’oïl, that we call Anglo-Norman, a variety of Old Norman whilst English continued to be the language of the common people. Middle English was influenced by both Anglo-Norman and, later, Anglo-French.

Early Modern English – from the late 15th to the late 17th century Modern English is often dated from the Great Vowel Shift, which took place mainly during the 15th century. English was further transformed by the spread of a standardised London-based dialect in government and administration and by the standardising effect of printing. Consequent to the push toward standardization, the language acquired self-conscious terms such as “accent” and “dialect”. By the time of Shakespeare,the language had become clearly recognisable as Modern English.

Modern English Early Modern English and Late Modern English vary essentially in vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, arising from the Industrial Revolution and the technology that created a need for new words as well as international development of the language. The British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the Earth’s surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries. British English and American English, the two major varieties of the language, are spoken by 400 million persons. 14

devanagari Devanagari is a script originated in India and Nepal. It is written from left to right, does not have distinct letter cases, and is recognizable by a horizontal line that runs along the top of full letters. Devanāgarī is the main script used to write Standard Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali. Since 19th century, it is most commonly used script for Sanskrit. Devanāgarī is also employed for Bhojpuri, Gujari, Pahari, (Garhwali and Kumaoni), Konkani, Magahi, Maithili, Marwari, Bhili, Newari, Santhali, Tharu, and also some Sindhi, Dogri, Sherpa,Kashmiri and Punjabi. It was formerly used to write Gujarati.Because of its use to write the Hindi,Devanagari is one of the most used and widely adopted writing systems in the world.


Devanāgarī is part of the Brahmic family of scripts of India, Nepal, Tibet, and South-East Asia.It is the old descendant of the Gupta script,along with Prince Siddham and Sharada. The use of the name Devanāgarī is relatively very recent, and the older term Nāgarī is still common.This has led to such a close connection between Devanāgarī and Sanskrit that Devanāgarī is now widely thought to be the Sanskrit script; however, before the colonial period there was no standard script for Sanskrit, which was written in whatever script was familiar to the local populace

A final consonant is marked with the diacritic,called the virāma in Sanskrit, halant in Hindi, and occasionally a “killer stroke” in English. Consonant clusters are written with ligatures (“conjuncts”). This system was originally created for use with the Middle Indic languages, which have a very limited number of clusters (the only clusters allowed are geminate consonants and clusters involving homorganic nasal stops). When applied to Sanskrit, however, it added a great deal of complexity to the script, due to the large variety of clusters in this language (up to five consonants, e.g. rtsny). Much of this complexity is required at least on occasion in the modern Indo-Aryan languages, due to the large number of clusters allowed and especially due to borrowings from Sanskrit. Vowels other than the inherent a are written with diacritics (termed matras). For example, using ka, the following forms can be derived: ke, ku, kī, kā, etc. For vowels as an independent syllable (in writing, unatt-tached to a consonant), either at the beginning of any word or (in Hindi) after another vowel, there are full-letter forms. For example, while the vowel is written with the diacritic in k,it has its own letter in ka and ka.


what is



omanagari, a portmanteau of the words Roman and Devanagari, is a slang word coined by bloggers.It refers to Hindi text written or typed in Roman script, as opposed to the standard Devanagari script. A possible reason for this is that Hindi-speaking computer users may lack tools necessary for typing in Hindi. The term may also be used for other languages that use Devanagari as the standard writing script, such as Marathi, Nepali or Sanskrit. As Hindi is neither traditionally taught nor used in the Roman script, it is difficult for Hindi speakers, fluent or otherwise, to read Hindi transliterated to Roman, and may be distracting from the matter at hand. Although there are several transliteration conventions on transliterating Hindi to Roman, most of these are reliant on diacritics. As most Indians are familiar with the Roman script through the English language (which traditionally does not use diacritics), these transliteration systems are much less widely known. Most such “Romanagari� is transliterated arbitrarily to imitate English spelling, and thus results in numerous inconsistencies.


cross cultural

typography W

hen two scripts or languages coexist in a piece of typographic communication, a multitude of issues arise. Through a systemic approach, this presentation will argue that visual harmony is not the ultimate consideration in cross-cultural typography; its effectiveness depends on how the two languages or scripts as well as their constituent parts interact with each other under various contexts for different purposes.

Three types of bilingual typography will be examined: 1. Where two languages/scripts appear as equivalents to each other in terms of meaning 2. Where one language/script is embedded into another below the clause level,termed as ‘codemixing’ in linguistics 3. Where one language interweaves into another at clause level or above,termed as ‘codeswitching’.


cross cultural typography studies

Since English and Hindi both have somewhere evolved from devanagari script. They seem to be very homologous in nature in some types of phonetic sounds and typeface. There is definitely a drawn connection between the two of these such that a lot of researches have been conducted drawing a link between the two languages.English alphabets can easily be superimposed on the hindi counterpart and so on. Dr. Ramya Singh’s research on the same topic gives some of the following references : P is the mirror image of Pa (in Hindi) , just a little modified and flat on the topwith the shiro rekha Ph, phonetic sound Pha (in Hindi)} is mirror of Fa (in Hindi) This research shows how letters and their phonetic sounds are also connected in the family. Pra (in Hindi) is analogous to R (in English) The rupee symbol is also homologous to the phonetical Hindi Ru and half the English R without the stem. There have been long researches done by type designers on the same for developing new fonts and cross cultural variations of the same. 19

studies In Devanagari, the ordering of the letters is according to precise scientific principles. each letter transcribes a distinct sound. it recognizes subtle distinctions in sound. Hence inspiration is taken from that font to create an English typeface or finetune it in the same order . Hindi however has a lot of phonetic and visual similarities with English as both of them have been developed from the same language only. It is believed that all other regional languages developed from Devangari hence will have equal amount of homologous affinity to English as hindi. Researches are going on stating English is the most similar to Bengali in the regional languages.


researches and examples

case studies



hinglishproject The project initiated by Incredible India and executed by DDB MUDRA GROUP in Mumbai, is about this hybrid typeface that combines Latin letters with Devanagiri letters to help foreign tourists demystify the Devanagiri script and make them feel less intimidated by it. The project claims that the viewer will be able to understand the phonetic sound of a Devanagiri letter by simply looking at the Latin letter that is superimposed.This as a fun project where two completely different scripts are tried to match phonetically.As the makers of the font make it clear, it cannot be used to construct a meaningful word if you


begin knowing only English.Nor can it be used to decode most Hindi words. As the official explanation acknowledges, Hindi has many more than 26 letters. Some of them are conjunct consonants (ka and sha make ksh) that cannot be superimposed on any English letter. The written script also uses “matra”, “bindu” and “chandrabindu”, the Hindi equivalent of diacritic marks, to modify the way the letters are used. So even if a user could memorise which Hindi squiggles correspond to the proper Roman-letter squiggles, he will still be unable to sound most words out phonetically.

The font of ‘The Hinglish Project’ is a marriage of Hindi and English at a level that the characters are overlaid on top of each letter. Using two different colours, a mark of distinction is achieved so the similarities between the two languages are understood.


thegandhijifontproject The Gandhiji Font is an impressive typeface the design of which is completely inspired by Mahatma Gandhiji’s trademark round glasses. After Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses were put up for sale at a private auction, LB Mumbai decided to create a font based on this iconic symbol of India’s founding father, so that the whole country could ‘see through his eyes’. Fonts were created for ten of India’s languages, and multiple ambient executions and design pieces were created to help publicise the project.What is a starkling similarity between all is the homologous nature of the typeface


used for the project Ten different Indian Languages that are inspired from one theme,sound different phonetically yet are able to look the same and typeface similarities can be drawn from it.This is a great example of cross cultural typography as well because the font designer has taken elements from various cultures and one unit India as a nation to create a font inspired from it and do effective typography. Thus in the remembrance of the father of the nation, Mr. MK Gandhi.




While many authors recognize that legibility of typeface plays an important role during of the language transfer process, the important factor as visual processing of textual information imaging still remains beyond designing. Some time ago Grigori Evreinov had created a pseudo-graphic typeface called as Styled.

The goal was to essentially simplify visual perception of the typeface and to strengthen legibility. The Styled typeface includes 26 pseudo-graphic tokens that are very similar to standard typeface and could be perceived relying on previous user experience. Visual perception critically depends on orientation and directio-ns that arise early in visual processing. Behavioral measurements reveal that the human visual system is more sensitive to horizontal and vertical orientations inside of visual stimuli. Some research found the striking correlation between neural activity and behavior, which demonstrates that during of visual processing of the exposed stimuli humans also can easily perceive another oblique directions. That is why to facilitate associative interpretation new tokens were mapped to eight directions: -135°, -90°, -45°, 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°and 180°, from the exposed coherent direction, where positive and negative values represent clockwise and anticlockwise rotations.



typographic All references have been taken from the net BUE/639980-5064297 Pictures have been taken from these respective sites only.

29 20


national institue of fashion technology anmol rl | integrated term project | fc-5


A documentation on cross cultural typeface, evaluation and case studies.