Gp Graduation Project - 2011/2012
Typeface Design project (Devanagari Script)
Under the guidance of : Prof. Mahendra Patel &
Faculty guide : Paresh Chaudhary
Student Dhruvi Tolia Communication Design (UG)
Graduation Project 2011/ 2012 UG Programme The Graduation Project Evaluation Jury recommends Dhruvi Tolia to be awarded the Graduation Degree of MIT Institute of Design, Pune in Communication Design (Graphic Design), herewith, for the project: Typeface Design (Devanagari Script) *MEMBERS*
on fulfilling the further requirements by* (subsequent remarks regarding fulfilling the requirements)
Chairperson of the Jury
I am deeply indebted to my guide and mentor, Prof. Mahendra Patel for his constant encouragement and support, for critically directing me through this journey of learning the process of typeface design. What I really have learnt are not the rules & facts but â€˜how to thinkâ€™. Special acknowledgements to Prof. Paresh Chaudhary, Satya & Peter Bilak for their guidance. As I dedicate this final project to my family, I would like to thank mom & dad for all their support. Special thanks to all my friends at MIT for their constant motivation and support. I owe a thanks to many others. *Lastly I would thank the shivneri bus services as well as the Railways for standing by my needs at all times :)
Study: Devanagari Script
Anatomy of Devanagari
Analysis of Univers
Exploring the characters
Text Trials & User Testing
ypeface Design is a process which involves immense amount of minute refinement of every small detail. Initial ideas are just in the form of sketches or few prints, but these form the basis of the entire process. Its then time to follow a clear methodology of a structured system. Marking the specific changes, gathering reviews, validating- sometimes even repeating the process just when youâ€™re almost about to get done. The level of awareness seen in a typeface designer progresses with the decreasing scales of focusâ€”from the fundamental interplay of shapes and strokes, to the overall grey value of the design. From elements within the type form which provide consistency and character to the design, to its interaction with digital media for its execution.
As I followed up with this project I did realize the need of typeface design to be a team effort. This was not a new concept since it has been implemented from the time of hot metal & photo type eras. But just as the digital platform was introduced, it allowed designers to function outside the constraints offered by the old methods, hence the possibilty to have a wider range of character sets and families. Thus the amount of precision work required has led to the emergence of type foundries, where work in collaboration helped to produce a single efficient product. It is important to note, the wider the type family the Typography, like language is more important deeper one needs to critically test not to me for what it perceives to be than for only the qualities of the typeface but anything it accomplishes on its own. also the various possible uses it allows due to its wide range. Based on these findings I would like to take you through the visual journey of things that I have learned in the process of typeface design in a regional script.
00 Project Proposal The proposed project to be undertaken under the guidance of Prof. Mahendra Patel was a Type Design Development in the devanagari script based on the famous historical type design â€˜Universâ€™ designed in 1957 by Adrian Frutiger. Background: Mahendra Patel was with Adrian Frutiger in 1971 and had designed a Typeface in Devanagari for hot-metal or photo-typesetting under his guidance. Over last 40 years he has created some type designs for Devanagari and other scripts as well. Most of the type designs are done for a specific use or project, he now has a plan to create digital outline fonts with family of weights for general use. He has great respect for Mr. Frutiger and wants to revive and refine the type design work he did with him in 1971, and create outline font family of five weights. This project offered me a great scope for learning mainly the details that undergo in making a typeface. Time was a very big deceiving factor. In the beginning it seemed sufficient enough to achieve the set target but I soon I realized the complexity, the numerous possibilities towards refinement just seemed endless. I chalked out a working system which could help me understand my objectives as well as give me key directions to carry out the tasks at hand.
Study : The Devanagari Script, practicing it with reed pen to build the sensitivity to writing Learning basic structure and proportions, Grouping and analyzing the basic characters
Study & Analysis : of the base Design (Univers), Reference Devanagari
Understanding the structures and alignments and creating some guide-lines
Derive a Conceptual Model : based on both the analysis
Learning/exploring basics of type design within guidelines Constructing & drawing representative letters on paper to establish the visual parameters
Constructing the drawn letters on the software and composing texts/ words
Learning the type designing software Font Lab
Refining & Validating : forms, Legibility, Readability, Character spacing & Kerning
Design Execution Constructing all the characters in normal weight on Fontlab
Generating font & installing the first cut for further refinement
Following the decided system of left & right spacing, character spacing & kerning
Composing text in Devanagari & test : grey value, spacing, legibility & readability Test the text both in Devanagari & Univers
Using proposed design in print to bring out its effectiveness & usefulness
Project proposal document (for business purpose)
Conclusion & Documentation
Project process document (for academic interest) 04
01 Introduction to Devanagari Script One of the most widely used script of India is the Devanagari script. A script which allows writing in over more than 25 languages some of which are Hindi, Marathi, Nepali & Sanskrit. Devanagari originated from the brahmi script.
This script is written and read from a left to right direction. One of the strongest visual identification of this script is the shiro-rekha or the head line. All the letters are carefully aligned to the shiro-rekha. In early writings one may observe a long continuous head line but with its current appearence the shiro-rekha breaks between two words– mainly to differentiate. This writing system is based on consonants with an inherent vowel. It is the vowel . The grouping of the vowels and consonants is called �वर (Swaras) and �यंजन (Vyanjanas). Devanagari script consists of 18 vowels out of which 11 are predominantly used. Signs which can be applied in the place of vowels are called as मातरा (Matras). The Devanagari consonants are grouped phonetically. The first 25 are called as stop consonants. An अनु�वार (anuswara) is applied when there is a cluster between the nasal consonants such as ( ङ ञ ण न म ). The remaining 8 consonants are grouped together. ळ is a special consonant often used in languages like Marathi & Gujarati. Other characters used are ◌ः known as the visarga. Other Devanagari diacritic characters are the chandra alone and in combination with the dot known as chandrabindu. In Devanagari if a consonant needs to be used alone without any vowel it is marked with a � halanta. Lastly the ऩ Nukta diacritic often used in Urdu words. Alongside is a table showing all the basic devanagari letters and characters as explained above.
म Occlusive (Consonants)
Non Occlusive Palatals
ह Non Occlusive (Liquids & Semi-Vowels)
Primary Vowels Independent (Short)
Unrounded low central
Unrounded high front
Rounded high back
Secondary Vowels include :
Combinations of all the basic consonants & vowels, half consonants, Nukta with full as well as half consonants, R kar also with both basic & half consonants, R kar + Nukta + basic consonants + half consonants, Na half form with basic & half consonants, Special conjuncts (linear) as well as (physically different), Special characters, Language variants and optional ligatures all together comprise of more than 850 character glyphs.
ए, ऐ, ऍ, ओ, औ, ऑ
01 Study of Devanagari letter forms: Practicing with the original tool â€˜Reedâ€™
Back in the 9th century, bamboo pens also known as reed was used for writing the Devanagari script. The 45 degree cut is the reason for the thick and thin features of the letterings. I started with all the basic consonants at first which helped me understand the basic structure and got me sensitive towards the characteristics of each individual letter form. I then narrowed down to a few letter forms which namely formed the word hongusky which is derived by my guide. He uses this as a system in both Latin and Devanagari script to narrow down certain guidelines for retrospection. Now I was not only just aware of the basic form of each character but also sensitive towards aspects such as visual balance, angle of the stroke, details of the joints, endings etc.
At first, when I started writing, it seemed exciting to get the letters right in proportion, details and its individual characteristics, but soon the process seemed exhaustive and rather difficult to complete. I was down with about 30 sheets to now realize that I had finally started to some what achieve the basic structure, was being able to judge the letters on the basis of aspects like stroke of the pen, spacing, proportions, joints, endings etc. I was now able to tell myself if the treatment of the stroke was too rough, whether the angle was a lazy 45, the counters being either too big or too small or just not in the right place. After a tedious process of a number of sheets I finally could square down to a good one or two sheets of the word hongusky to go ahead with the project.
01 Study of Devanagari letter forms: Tools help build concepts
Of all the skills absorbed from the reed pen writing it is important for a designer to observe how certain shapes behave at certain scales and differently in another. I realized this when I started observing the close connection between type design and writing. When I say writing I do not mean calligraphy. I observed this from various informal writings such as some society papers circulated with a personal hand written message, a studentâ€™s essay from a hindi note book or simply messages drawn on walls on streets. More than inputs on specific letter forms it provides a good study to understand the patterns and combinations which people are used to seeing and also help you understand character spacing for better legibility & readability.
"A real typeface needs rhythm, needs contrast, it comes from handwriting." - Erik Spiekermann
02 Anatomy of the Devanagari Script The anatomy of any letter form helps you define the structure and characteristics of the letter which correspond to defining the system of a particular typeface. Unlike Devanagari, the Latin script has a very well defined structure to describe its letterforms. Only a few typographers have been able to define and bring about some standardization in the anatomy of the Devanagari script. I studied a few of their findings to then combine the variations and bring them together. This section includes certain specific vocabulary used to describe the consonants & vowels. It also gives insights into the terminology used for specific characteristics for a particular letterform in a specific approach of a typeface. I referred to the compilation made by Girish Dalvi who has studied the works of Bhagwat & Naik, Mahendra Patel, Mukund Gokhale and few more. This was a very important stage in my learning since as a designer I needed to be sensitive towards the correct terminologies as well as understand the various possibilities of categorizing this vast alphabet. Through the next four pages I have detailed out the anatomy as well as explained the category I outlined for myself to carry forward in the designing phase.
vk dkj ek=k
b dkj ek=k
mËoZ js[kk f'kj¨ js[kk
Ascender line (Top most)
, dkj ek=k
xk¡B ry js[kk
Descender line (Bottom most)
02 Grouping & Categorization To begin with the designing phase it was necessary to build a conceptual model that could be carried out systematically throughout the various letter forms. But earlier than that, it was necessary to categorize or group these letter forms on the basis of characteristics common to one another. Some of the attempts I studied were as follows: 1. Gokhale's division of letters using the body paradigm in which he defined the vertical proportions. 2. Mahendra Patel's version categorized these letter forms on the basis of their form. For instance, letters with angular endings such as ka, ga, daa, fa, la etc. Letters with block loop endings such as na, kha, ma, bha etc. Other categories comprised of loop endings, merging joints, right angled joints & looped form. Terminology defined by him was highly dependent on the shape of the letters. The third category was more or less close to the category I was comfortable with which organized the letters based on the position of the kanna or the vertical bar. (Picture alongside) 3)This was also seen in Naik's categorization where the entire system was divided into 5 groups. Letters with full vertical bar (connected), full vertical bar (disconnected), short vertical bar, central bar, and no bar at all. A change that could be observed was the exclusion of two vowels ae, aee matra which could be included in a category with the letter ra naming the group letters with half vertical bar. This category seemed simple to follow and was also based on the terminology used to describe Devanagari letter forms in schools which seemed more easier to grasp.
ust as important the background study was, I had to simultaneously dig into details involved in analysing the complimentary typeface - Univers. Univers was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1956 which was released by the Deberny & Peignot type foundry in 1957. It is a neo-grotesque sans serif; it features optically even stroke weights and a large x-height to improve legibility. It is known for the variety of weights in the family. At the time it was designed it included 21 variations, and was the first type family to implement a numbering system as opposed to using names. Today there are over 27 different variations of Univers available. Univers is an extremely diverse typeface that has the ability to work very well at large display sizes for applications such as headlines and mastheads as well as in small sizes for body copy. During the 1990s, Frutiger along with the design staff at linotype completed the large joint project. The result: a brilliant and cohesive font family of 63 weights providing a much larger framework to graphic designers for choosing just the right style. The bold and condensed were reworked to improve legibility and on-screen application.
03 The analysis of Univers
Scrutinizing through the method of hongusky An indepth analysis of the normal width & regular weight of Univers was carried out. Along with the basic generalistic feel and identification of characters of both the upper case as well as the lower case, I did some basic study of the character weight study, character width study and visual center and visual spacing. The word hongusky was selected. Letter H was taken as the master letter. With a cap height of 100mm, the vertical stroke weight and the horizontal stroke weight was put to comparison to find the percentage with respect to the cap height for each letter. This was a mathematical study which could help me understand the grid for each letter, its horizontal and vertical construction. I first worked out these calculations on paper and then finally compiled them digitally hence creating certain guidelines for design consideration. This phase ends with spotting some distinct characteristics which form the back bone of the conceptual model for design considerations.
HON x height = 100mm H is the master letter
x = 100mm
Character Weight Study
1] Vertical stroke wt = 14% of cap ht (Letters B,D,E,F,H,I,j,K,L,M,N,P,R,T,U,Y)
2] Horizontal stroke wt = 85.7% of vt stroke wt (Letters A,B,D,E,F,G,H,L,P,R,Z) 3] Vertical curve stroke wt = Vertical stroke wt (Letters B,C,D,G,O,P,Q,R,S) 4] Horizontal curve stroke wt = 85.7% of vertical curve stroke wt (Letters B,C,G,O,Q,S) 5] Vertical curve stroke end wt = 103.5% of vertical curve stroke wt (Letters C,G,S) 6] Diagonal stroke wt = 135.7% of vertical stroke wt (incase of ‘K’) 7] Diagonal stroke ending wt = 178.5% of vertical stroke wt (Letter of ‘M’) 8] Diagonal stroke ending wt = 92.8% of vertical stroke wt (Letters of M,V) 9] Diagonal stroke ending wt = 135.7% of vertical stroke wt (Letter of ‘N’) 10] Diagonal stroke ending wt = 125% of vertical stroke wt (Letter ‘W’ top)
GMWK 11] Diagonal stroke ending wt = 107% of vertical stroke wt (Letter ‘W’ bottom)
Character Width Study
1] H width = 74.5% of cap height 2] N,U,K width = 101.3% of H width 3] O,Y width = 122.6% of H width 4] G width = 114.6% of H width 5] S width = 102% of H width
YSM 6] M width = 141.3% of H width 7] W width = 118% of H width
Y = 122.6% of H
S = 102% of H
M = 141.3% of H
Lower case study
Character Weight & width study x = 70mm 1] Vt stroke weight of h = 18.57% of x ht 2] Vt curved stroke weight of o = 107.6% of vt stroke wt of h 3] Vt stroke weight of tail of u = 92.3% of vt stroke wt of h 4] Vt stroke weight ending top of s = vt stroke weight of h 5] Vt stroke weight ending bottom of s = 103.8% of vt stroke weight of h 6] Vt stroke weight left of y = 107.6% of vt stroke weight of h 7] Vt stroke weight right of y = 103.8% of vt stroke weight of h 8] h width = 86.1% of x height 9] o width = 108% of h width 10] n width = h width 11] g width = 103.2% of h width 12] u width = h width 13] s width = 92.7% of h width 14] k width = 98.3% of h width 15] y width = 114.5% of h width
Univers SINCE 1957
Neo - grosteQue sans serif Think of it as a Swiss design with a French heart*
The slight (but clearly visible)
contrast in stroke weight /subtle angularity /hint of calligraphic brush stroke *
DISTINCT CHARACTERISTICS * more stroke modulation than Helvetica * squaring of round strokes, all curved letters have horizontal endings * two-storied ‘a’ is the most distinctive letter, with a straight back, no baseline curl, and perpendicular connection at top of bowl * ‘G’ lacks Helvetica spur * diagonal strokes of k meet at stem * the ‘@’ mark is not rescaled by width * the top of ‘t’ is angled * Y has a straight descender * the tail of ‘Q’ runs along the baseline
"From all these experiences, the most important thing I have learned is that legibility and beauty stand close together and that type design, in its restraint, should be only felt and not percieved by the reader. In the course of my profesional life I have acquired knowledge and manual skill. To pass on what I have learnt and achieved to the next generation only becomes a necessity"
04 Exploring the characters Learning and exploring the basics of type designing with a few representative letters had now begun. I had the few letters from the reference design worked by Prof. Mahendra Patel to understand the basic structure and grid for these letters. Taking inspiration from the structures study of the reference design as well existing Devanagari typefaces such as Mangal, Kruti Dev, Pitara and Fedra, I began experimenting with different approaches of stroke weights, curve endings, joints, loops etc. There were no constraints in terms of what I could try and what I could not, but it was important to understand while conceptualizing for a letter, to keep in mind two things; firstly since they are representative letters, it is necessary to identify the needs of the other letters dependent on that paticular letter. For instance; while designing the letter ka, I need to keep in mind the structural needs of ba and va. Likewise while designing for letter pa, I should consider fa, sha and ana(nasal) too. Secondly, one must be able to tell the difference between a graphic approach and a stylized approach. For example: while designing the letter ha, the treatment given to its curved ending could tell if it were stylized (decorative) or graphic (more functional). You will now see a range of letters along with their possible explorations which were carried out to compile groups of various systems to further narrow down with one conceptual model which can be reflected upon all the characters.
I individually started drawing letter forms which were a part of the word hongusky. This was when I actually started designing the type. It was when I was drawing hongusky letter by letter, trying to understand how it was put together when I really got sensitive about every detail. Figure 1 & 2 are very similar in shape except the difference in the length of the stem joint to the shiro-rekha. Figure 3 has a longer tail. Figure 4 is a different kind of approach to the tail ending. It is slightly below the baseline also known as an overshoot. Figure 5 has a longer and wider tail and has a larger x height.
Matras and diacritic characters also need to have a similar range of approaches as that of consonants and vowels. Figure 1 highlights the A matra. Its has a flat cut horizontal ending and is shorter in height, about quarter in proportion to the x height. Figure 2 has a curved ending but yet a horizontal cut ending, parallel to the shiro-rekha. Similar to letters like 'C', 'S' & 'G' in Univers. Figure 3 has a cut like that visible in the lower case 'f' and 'r' of Univers. Slightly shorter in height but almost half the size of the x height. Figure 4 & 5 are versions of 3, different in length.
Figure 1 shows an approach that corresponds to the A matra exploration seen in figure 2. Open ended loop slightly higher from the horizontal center. Figure 2 is a version of 1, visually close to the horizontal center. Figure 3 is a filled rounded loop, not corresponding well with the rather spqaurish forms of Univers. Figure 4 is a loop with a closed ending. The counter form has a distinct resemblence with the counter form seen in lower case 'a' of Univers. It too has a perpendicular connection at the top of the bowl. Figure 5 is a version of 4, with a cut ending perpendicular to horizontal stem.
Figure 1 of letter ga, has a similar approach as that of figure 1 of letter na. Slightly wider between the two stems. Figure 2 similar to figure 3 in letter na. Closer between the vertical stems. Figure 3 and 4 correspond to figure 4 and 5 in letter na. While they are also closer at the vertical stems, they are also slightly below the horizontal center. Figure 5 again has a curved ending with a horizontal cut perpendicular to the shiro-rekha. This is slightly even more closer at the stems and lower from the horizontal center for visual balance of the form.
Figure 1 of this diacritic matra is slightly raised from the tail but perpendicluar to the base. Figure 2 is similar to figure 1 except that the stem at the top bowl is longer. Figure 3 curves right towards the upward direction with a horizontal cut ending which is perpendicular to the baseline. Figure 4 is similar to figure 3 only its more wider in approach and a squarish treatment is given more than the rounded approach in figure 3. Figure 5 has its tail running along the base as also observed in the upper case of letter 'Q'.
Figure 1 has the matra stretched upto the consonant ka which was tried with which makes it look incorrect. Figure 2 has a shorter distance between the two legs of the matra. It is also shorted in height. Figure 3 is a larger form over all, with a large counter form and height. Figure 4 is a variation somewhere in the middle of 2 and 3. It has a fairly shorter height than the matra in figure 3. Figure 5 is the same as figure 4 except that it has a horizontal cut ending, perpendicular to the shiro-rekha.
Figure 1 is a straight cut approach corresponding to strokes of lower case 'k'. Figure 2 has the middle stem cut to follow the language which has been explored in the other letter forms. It also has a shoot poping out at the joint often seen in the traditional reed forms of this letter. Difference between figure 2 and 3 is only of the horizontal stem. Figure 4 has a slightly rounded approach but yet squarish in its over all form. Again, the difference between figure 4 and 5 is only the horizontal stem which is slightly lighter in weight incase of figure 5.
Figure 1 has similar left and right counter form as opposed to figure 2, which has the left counter form continued till it touches the kanna. The left counter form in figure 2 is similar to the lower case letter 'a' in Univers. It runs along perpendicular at the top and has a similar shape of the counter form as that of 'a'. Figure 3 and 4 are similar in approach. Difference being that the counter form in figure 4 is slightly lower and farther from each other. Figure 3, 4 and 5 all have slightly perpendicular stems having horizontal cuts perpendicular to the kanna.
04 Forming various systems
To come to a set conclusion with the explorations The next step after drawing and constructing letter forms was to group the various styles with their right visual similarity. The word hongusky also had a slight shift in terms of characters so that a wider range could be achieved. I started with calling kahi sangu which in Marathi means what should I say? But even that did not seem to have worked so it was now Kohi Singu. In the sheet that is shown alongside highlights various aspects which were brought to notice after the first grouping. The matras needed to be consistent in terms of length and spacing. Thickness variations for an equal stroke weight. Certain basic corrections of alignment, similarity and variations was the next step to be tried.
04 One conceptual model
Narrowing down to one system The first stage gave rise to final five types of systems that could be carried out for all the characters and glyphs. As you closely observe the numbering system was followed for grouping similar kinds of letters which have been corrected from the first trial sheet of kohi singu. After which I had to take a call for the final system which could be followed. The image below was the tentative system chosen after keeping in mind various aspects such as resemblence with the univers characteristics as well as different kinds of curves and forms. These were highly subject to change which I realized while I continued with the other characters. And thus the system got re-defined.
my preference with respect to form appearance as well as the cut language which is followed in the matras.
Now onwards begins the journey of an indepth analysis and construction of all the basic consonants, vowels, matras and swaras.
1. Check endings.
13. Reduce space at the stem.
2. Try variation at the knot.
14. Try a variation at the joint & increase shiro-rekha.
3. The letter form moves upwards. 4. Upper counter form goes inwards, lower one outwards, stem upwards. 5. Same as letter gha, with a joint loop.
15. Try a variation at the joint. 16. Check weight.
6. Try a different tail.
17. Bring the highlighted part lower.
7. Increase space between stem & shiro-rekha.
18. Check the weight at the bowl.
8. Move the loop upwards. 9. Increase the shiro-rekha. 10. Make the upper form rounder. 11. Try variation of the loop with closed counter. 12. Try variation of the loop with closed counter.
19. Let the angular move inwards. 20. Check weight at the stomach. 21. Reduce weight at the stomach. 22. Check the joints at the junction. Needs to be smoother.
3 6 5
15 16 18
1. The horizontal stem needs to go upwards, the bottom bowl needs to be a bit heavier & the shiro-rekha a bit outwards. 2. The horizontal stem needs to jut out a bit more, and the curve needs to go inwards.
10. Reduce the space between the stem & the shiro-rekha, and the form less angular. 11. Upper counter form slightly more upwards. 12. Reduce the length of the shiro-rekha.
3. Both the letters need to reduce the weight.
13. Make the character wider.
4. The top counter needs to move upwards.
14. Change the form of the loop and move it inwards.
5. The top counter needs to move upwards, the loop needs to be shut but a bit angular at the end & lower counter form moves downwards. 6. Try a variation of the loop/knot. 7. Shorten the lengths as shown. 8. More space between the stems & the shiro-rekha. 9. Reduce space inside the counter form & increase the space between the two glyphs.
15. Change the shape of the stem. 16. Change the shape as well as the angle. 17. Change the shape at the joint and reduce the counter form. 18. Reduce the weight of the tail. 19. Reduce space between the stem & shirorekha. 52
1. Check weight. 2. Get the bowl lower. 3. Try a variation at the knot. 4. Check the weight of the lower counter form.
12. Increase the size of the stem. Check the acute angle. 13. Similar knot like that in the letter ga. 14. Similar knot like that in the letter ga. 15. Similar knot like that in the letter ga.
5. Increase the length of the shiro-rekha.
16. Similar knot like that in the letter ga.
6. Check weight.
17. The form needs to go upwards from the knot junction.
7. Try a variation of the tail. 8. The joint at the stem needs to move lower.
18. The second counter form needs to go upwards & the tail can end differently.
9. The joint at the stem needs to move lower.
19. Check the weight of the shiro-rekha.
10. Fine tune the loop & the joint needs to go lower. 11. Try a variation similar to the letter ja. 54
Consistency in : Form
Consistency in : Stems
05 Character Spacing
White spaces & side bearings One of the most important pre-requisites of typeface design are legibility and readability. Both of them highly depend on the white and black spaces around letter forms. Balancing the inner white space and inter letter space is very essential. White spaces within the letter forms are called counters. White space outside of the letter forms is referred to as fitting. The method I followed was to place one letter form which ends with a full vertical bar, after which you place the kanna and again the same character with the E matra since it ends with a kanna too. Then you place each of your characters one by one now examining the spaces with respect to the whole word created, for example: papikapipa. The amount of white space around each letter should appear to be equal visually. There were just four stages that I went through before I got the spacing just right. Following pages show each of the stages.
A glympse of how the character spacing is actually done in Font Lab is shown alongside. While you arrange these letters next to each other and adjust ther distance between two kanna's visually, you have automatically set guidelines to follow in all the consonants and vowels which end with a full vertical bar. The right spacing of all the letters which end with a full vertical bar will now be the same. The more exhilarating part comes along when one has to set the zero line for all the left side spacing for each character. The zero line is a line from where your letter starts moving towards the right. All letters are aligned with respect to this line only. Hence you can manually move the handles of the metrics tool or put in the values till you get it visually correct as shown alongside.
* (-) sign stands for reduce spacing (+) stands for increase spacing.
work in progress sheets
work in progress sheets
work in progress sheets
work in progress sheets
06 Text Trials & User Testing
Using proposed design to bring out its effectiveness Now came the most exciting phase of my project. Finally I could see the typeface designed by me forming words and sentences. I had to now carry out a text trial amongst various types of people. My first category included users as such: guards, cleantech workers, office boys etc. People who would probably come across my text in newspapers, hindi books, etc, since its a body text font. Apart from advice and suggestions from my external guide and faculty guide I needed to take inputs from other designers predominantly doing typeface design. I shared out the text trials with Peter Bilak as well as Satya Raj Purohit for their expert advice to refine my design. I even got it tested by other students and faculty in the college to understand their views and opinions on the design. I then checked the design for further fine kerning and spacing issues. I had prepared various sample text in point sizes 30, 24, 18, 14, 12, 10, 8 and 6 to understand the readability & legibility while scaling.
06 Detailing Feedback The text trials which were directed for various groups had very different feedback based on different contexts. The audience which were solely concerned with 'getting information out from the text' part of the research proved my very first moto of this typeface. Readability & Legiability, two of my main objectives were achieved. The guards, the marathi printing man and the clean tech staff etc, local to Pune (Maharastra), coming from a Marathi background had no difficulty reading and understanding any information. Readability & legiability both had absolutely no issues. I also received detailed feedback from typeface designers: La: Too heavy, Sa: Too heavy (specially at the junction) Ha: looks incomplete / can be misunderstood with half Ha. Bha: First counter is too small (wouldn't it disappear if you do a bold or heavy weight?) Ma/Bha: The knots are too sharp, distracting too much. Ja: Too strong. A: First stroke is too strong. The bar should be drawn from the second bowl. Cha: The final counter is too, too small and will trouble at small sizes.Ukaar/Uukar: too small, Ai matra: Too strong at bottom.Ta: Too wide.Ya: Too wide. Some inconsistent weight of horizontals and verticals, Some spacing is not quite right and a some of the curved shapes seemed heavier than necessary. My mentor Paresh Chaudhary also suggested some of the above changes, as detailed as using a square for the anuswara instead of a diamond. Thus, I decided to create two versions as I had decided earlier with the various alternatives so I could compare both.
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अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऍ ऎ ए ऐ अं ऑऒओऔ अः 80
t seems to be the end of the project, but it certainly isn't! Now begins the real challenge to undergo technical detailing with every minute change with the design. It has definitely been by far one of the most detailed design work I have ever taken up. I, like most graphic designers tend to sweat on the little stuff and get finicky about matters such as character shapes, kerning, alignments, curves etc which have been touched upon thoroughly, through this report. Being sensitive towards when to use the word typeface and when to use font or what we call as a character which could be well confused with what they may be known as glyphs was a major part of my learning. This report has given me more of everything: more detailing, a more process oriented approach, more type crimes, etc. It has now given me an insight on recognizing how design and text slowly collaborate to enhance understanding. I am more encouraged to take this project forward by completing it in various weights and understand the technical aspect better after this report, since the more I look at it, the more I believe it can achieve. It has helped me look into the diversity of a typographic life exposing me to different ways of achieving ideas that can bring some sensitivity to any work directed in the field of typography or typeface design.
A type design project in the Devanagari script