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I had been wanting to experiment with the devanagari script in the domain of type design. After my first two classroom projects which were done in the field of research and interactive design respectively, I felt a need to polish my form skills and study the building blocks of Typography.

Project 3 Documentation

Looking at publication design in India which uses Indic scripts. There is a massive shortage of hardworking typefaces. Most of the indic typefaces are created by people with non type design backgrounds. Sanchit Sawaria Immanuel Suresh My project started off with letter drawing andSatya gradually took a turn Rajpurohit towards display type design for heading and titling.


Introduction

Methodology

Final Character set


Introduction


I had been wanting to experiment with the devanagari script in the domain of type design. After my first two classroom projects which were done in the field of research and interactive design respectively, I felt a need to polish my form skills and study the building blocks of Typography. Looking at publication design in India which uses Indic scripts. There is a massive shortage of hardworking typefaces. Most of the indic typefaces are created by people with non type design backgrounds. My project started off with letter drawing and gradually took a turn towards display type design for heading and titling.


Introduction

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First of all I would like to thank my guide and mentor Mr Immanuel Suresh for guiding me throughout the 4 years of my design education. Between stories and chit-chat I got the edge in all my projects because of him. For this particular project I would like thank Mr Satya Rajpurohit(www.indiantypefoundry.com) for guiding me and providing me with the most valueable and appropriate feedback during the entire design process.


Project Title Condensed Devanagari Duration 8 weeks Name Sanchit Sawaria Joining Year 2008 Guide Immanuel Suresh; SN Rajpurohit Email sanchitsawaria@gmail.com Mobile +91 9311084255 Skype sancitsawarria

Project Details There are very few typefaces for the devanagari script and almost none of them are display faces. Many promising devanagari typefaces are coming up for flowing text. I would like to explore a condensed variant of devanagari for display and heading usage which would help in building heirarchy in textflow and add to the shallow pool of display devanagari typefaces. Keywords Type Design, Devanagari Methodology Character exploration Basic character set Form Correction Documentation

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Methodology


The project was rather challanging since it was my first experience with type design. Having no knowledge of devanagari type anatomy, it took me a while to get comfortable with the script. The intial phases of research and drawing practice were in linear structure. Once I started with digital sketches, the testing and correction phases were part of a cyclic process. Design Process • Devnagari Type Anatomy • Type Design Basics • Letter drawing • Revised Brief • Setting Proportions • Skeleton Sketches • Character set on FontLab Studio 5 • Testing & Corrections


Methodology

devanagari type anatomy Anusvar

Ikar

Chandra Bindu

Hrsva Ukar Hrsva Velanti

Conjunct Single Matra

Kana

Matra Line Head Line Upper Mean Line

Lower Mean Line Baseline Rukar Line Kohinoor Devanagri Bold used for type anatomy

Before starting to draw I studied the type anatomy done for devanagari by_________. This helped me understand the original structure of the script better. Although there are no such rules for devangari type design yet the rules for latin type design do not automatically apply. Major differences being the absence of half forms and lower case. With matras, numerous conjuncts, alternates amounting to approximately 750 characters, devanagari has a heavier and much more complicated character set compared to latin. While drawing the basic letters I discovered there are no standard proportions of the devanagari script yet as it hasn’t been explored as much as latin from a type design point of view. The letter proportions of one calligrapher differs from all the others. Since the script is used for a number of languages, there is diversity in the rules and proportions of the basic set for devanagari.

Type design basics I went through some type design basics from www.typeworkshop. com before the drawing phase. Though all the notes and material available has documented the type design process taking the latin script as a generic representative, it still explains the principals of spacing, readablitiy, proportions, form balancing, kerning, etc. which are essential to the letter design of any script.


letter drawing

After studying the proportions and the type structure, I moved on to practice some letter drawing for basic understanding. Though my idea of the typeface has very little connection with the classical structure and proportions, I found it useful to go through the freehand letter drawing phase. It gave me a certain control over the script. The proposed typeface having a modular design made it more difficult for me to derive forms from the script. It was almost like working with a formulae which when applied to each glyph turns it into one that belongs to the modular typeface. However, the formula was visual rather than mathematical.

Letter drawing with a chisel tip marker on cartridge paper.

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Methodology

letter drawing

The drawing phase gave me a lot of clarity of the devanagari letterforms. These samples came out of freehand exploration done with a chisel nib marker. My intention was to exaggerate certain glyphs to come up with a display look for the script.


letter drawing

The composition represents the hindi word ‘santulan’ or balance.

This is one of my experiments with the Devanagari script. Came out of the first week of the project. The composition represents balance, a vital element and basic postulate for good design. This visual balance is imperative to the field of typography. The letters and the platform illustrate a balancing toy which keeps the centre of mass below the pivot point.

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Methodology

skeleton sketches


First Sketch This particular sketch formed the basic design outline of the typeface. I went in for a high stroke contrast at first but at that stage I was focussing more on the structure and design. I decided to deal with the stroke and weight later. I pretty much got an idea of how the curves would behave in a condensed variant.

skeleton sketches Taking information from the first sketch, I drew the letters on a grid. Keeping as many alternates as I could incorporate I started defining the language of the stroke for the typeface. Skeleton sketches are extremely helpful when defining the design outline of the letters. But when in comes to balancing form and weight one has to work with thich strokes. The reason most type designers start with the bold weight first is that it is the most challanging weight to manage positive and negative spaces; naturally because of the small counters.

caption lajksdhf ;asldkfh a;lskdjf a;s;lkasdjf akjhsdf

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Methodology

setting proportions

The letter ‘a’ in devanagari drawn for comparing possible proportions.

Condensed, ultra or compressed? The first few digitized sketches were taking shape and it was time to set the proportions right. Since this was a tall typeface, it was important to test various possobilities regarding the character height and width. Taking 1cm as 1 unit, I drew the letter ‘a’. Keeping the height constant, I made options for the character width. Since most of the devanagari characters are wide, it was tough to take a call on fixing the width. The letters looked condensed only in extreme proportions. But in comparision to other devanagari typefaces the condensed variant was working. I took the 7/16 proportion and added weight to it.

The words looked gigantic and the counters were already creating problems. So I finally settled for 7.5/16. Naturally the letters look wider with the extra weight. I had to finally draw the letters in bold. This excercise helped me define the positive and the negetive relationship.


Stroke width Starting with the bold weight I had to know how much would be bold and how much would go overboard and fall into the category of extra bold and black. I compared Sapient Sans Black, Din Engschrift and some of the letters I drew. The bold condensed weight of any typeface is wider than condensed and the stroke width is lesser than bold.

Myriad Pro

initial values Vertical stroke = 95 units Curved stroke = 95 units Horizontal Stroke = 90 units

Final values Vertical stroke = 97 units Curved stroke = 92 units Horizontal Stroke = 88 units

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Methodology

Testing & corrections

One of the first few digital trials. Comparing weight and character.

Basic unicode devanagari set in FontLab Studio 5

With the proportions and skeleton sketches in place i started with the digital drawings. Started making groups of letters that look similar and use the same glyphs.

My first character set was nowhere close to looking like a condensed typeface. Even after setting proportions and calculating weight, the letters were becoming wide. The negative spaces were too imbalanced and there were conflicts in the design language of the typeface.


Analysis and weight width grouping of Set 1.

Set 2 (above) and corrections (below).

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Methodology


After completing the first set, I had frequent meetings with Satya Rajpurohit and discovered that the process of a type design project at NID was much different from that in the industry. I had taken some detours and wrong turns and was willing to take some more for the benefit of the project. From there on I took feedback from Satya regularly who guided me till the end of the project. Our meetings happened at the famous ‘kaka chai’ under the influence of a lot chai, smoke and bird droppings .

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Methodology

Testing & corrections

The first set of corrections cleared out a lot things including the character widths. There were still some conflicts in the design language which I decided to solve in FontLab.


मेरा नाम राहुल रौेेए है। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर विशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँचा डाल पर विराजमान मेरा नाम जैन है।कषा चार एक उच विचारो वाला।मुझे अौर गोलशासतर पढने काफी रुच है।बडा होकर अलबरट अाईसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा परिशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है।मुझे विशवास है एक दिन महान बनूंगा अौर अपने माता पिता का नाम रौशन करूंगा।

मेरा नाम राहुल रौेेए है। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर विशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँचा डाल पर विराजमान मेरा नाम जैन है।कषा चार एक उच विचारो वाला।मुझे अौर गोलशासतर पढने काफी रुच है।बडा होकर अलबरट अाईसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा परिशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है।मुझे विशवास है एक दिन महान बनूंगा अौर अपने माता पिता का नाम रौशन करूंगा।

मेरा नाम राहुल रौेेए है। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर विशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँचा डाल पर विराजमान मेरा नाम जैन है।कषा चार एक उच विचारो वाला।मुझे अौर गोलशासतर पढने काफी रुच है।बडा होकर अलबरट अाईसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा परिशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है।मुझे विशवास है एक दिन महान बनूंगा अौर अपने माता पिता का नाम रौशन करूंगा।

1 2/3/2012 sanchitsawaria

I drew some basic matras and remaining characters so that the typeface could be tested. The best test for a typeface is to build words and sentences to see how the forms are relating to each other. In isolation the letters may seem perfect, but its only when you put them together to make words, they can be tested for readability and legibility.

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Methodology

मेरा नाम राहुल रौेेए है। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर िवशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँचा डाल पर िवराजमान थाम ऋषी �ानी खेल काँच मेरा नाम जैन है।कषा चार एक उच विचारो वाला।मुझे अौर गोलशासतर पढने काफी रुच है।बडा होकर अलबरट अाईसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा पिरशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है।मुझे िवशवास है एक िदन महान बनूंगा अौर अपने माता िपता का नाम रौशन करूंगा।

�ऊऌलएकखगघचछजझनटठ डढणतथदधनपफबअइईउऊभ मयरवशषसहॠळंीि े ैञऋ

4 6/3/2012 sanchitsawaria

मेरा नाम राहुल रौेेए है। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर िवशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँचा डाल पर िवराजमान थाम ऋषी �ानी खेल काँच मेरा नाम जैन है।कषा चार एक उच िवचारो वाला।मुझे अौर गोलशासतर पढने काफी रुच है।बडा होकर अलबरट अाईसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा पिरशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है।मुझे िवशवास है एक िदन महान बनूंगा अौर अपने माता िपता का नाम रौशन करूंगा।

�ऊऌलएकखगघचछजझनटठ डढणतथदधनपफबअइईउऊभ मयरवशषसहॠळंीि े ैञऋ

5 9/3/2012 sanchitsawaria

At this stage, the typeface was coming into shape. All the basic characters were done. The matras were taking a lot of time to resolve.


मेरा नाम ऋिष जैन है। मै ं कषा चार में अधयनरत एक उॵ िवचारों वाला छातर हूं। मुझे िवजञान अौर खगोलशासतर पढ़ने में काफी रुिच है। मैं बड़ा होकर अलबरट अाईंसटाईन की तरह मशहूर होना चाहता हूं। घर पर मेरी मां मुझे कहती है बेटा, अथक परिशरम का फल हमेशा मीठा होता है। मुझे पूरण विशवास है िक एक िदन मैं महान वैजञािनक बनूंगा अौर अपने माता िपता का नाम िवशवभर मे रौशन करूंगा। बात चीत ईद मुबारक कहरवा झंडा जीवन का सार ऊमा छतरी घमासान धीमा भोजन शहर िवशेष महनत का फल राजा की ढाल बाण जीवणु दरपण पैदाइश सेवा ऊँची डाल पर िवराजमान थाम ऋषी �ानी खेल

�ऊऌलएकखगघचछजझनटठडढणतथदध न प फ ब अ इ ई उ ऊ भ म य र व श ष स ह ॠ ळै ञ ऋ � ॐ ॵ ॶ ॷ ॸ ॺ ॕ०१२३४५६७८९ ञ ऽ क़ख़ ग़ ऑऍऍ्�   

े ऀै� ू

फ़य़ऩऱंीि

ुँ 7 13/3/2012 sanchitsawaria

8 28/3/2012 sanchitsawaria

The ukar matra was the most challanging to resolve. The initial drawings looked very heavy and did not match the character of the other matras. Cutting the loop in half took the extra weight off and the diagonal direction of the stroke maintained the language of the typeface.

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Methodology


The testing phase was perhaps he most rigorous and challanging among all the hurdles I’ve faced during the course of this project. As soon as 4-5 characters are drawn, the testing begins as it is a natural feedback for the letterforms if they are working in groups or words. Characters, matras, half forms and conjuncts need to be kerned and balanced in the metrics window before they are tested in print.

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Final Character Set


After 2 months of my realtionship with type, I had to take it to the next level. So I decided to finish with my basic character set. Since this was a classroom excercise, it wasn’t fit for production and extension. My faith in the idea is still strong that is why I chose to develop an entire family of fonts for the Diploma Project.


FInal Character Set

Poster featuring Kathan Bold Condensed at possible display sizes.


The basic set! The devanagari numbers are no more in use though.

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FInal Character Set Methodology

Final Character set


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Profile for Sanchit Sawaria

Project 3 Document  

Documentation for my 3rd classroom project.

Project 3 Document  

Documentation for my 3rd classroom project.

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