First Non-Latin Workshop results

Posted on 3 December 2007 in:

Some drawings

The pressure is on! Even though it isn’t the case that each typeface design student at Reading has tackled a non-Latin component as part of their work, it feels like it. Last week, we rolled up our sleeves and drew out sets of non-Latin scripts for the first time, or at least the first time with other people looking. From Tuesday through Thursday, we participated in a workshop regarding North-Indian scripts—Devanagari, Bengali, and Gujarati. I guess that the point of the workshop was to write out a lot of different kinds of characters in order to get an introduction to—and feel for—these writing systems.

I’d already decided to try and integrate Devanagari into my practical work, but I spent a few hours writing out 45 Bengali characters on Wednesday night and Thursday morning; so delightful! Bengali is curvy, and really a lot of fun. It also looks very difficult. I’ve love to design a Bengali typeface, but the idea of trying to wrangle those shapes with bezier curves—or really with any instrument or technology—makes me want to hide under the table. I didn’t attempt to write much with a proper nibbed or reed pen; Bengali incorporates e number of thick up-strokes. I have no idea how one makes one’s pen do that. Or one’s hand, wrist, etc…

Bengali is sp beautitful yet so difficult to try to write

Here you can see the beautiful Bengali script breaking my heart with its detail.

Hurray for Word Art 1

We spent much of the workshop looking at a collection of printed items, type specimens, and language-learning guides from India.

Photo taken by Paul Hunt

Here is another artefact we viewed. The photo of this example is from Paul Hunt.

Cobra beer 02

Cobra beer. Is that Devanagari on the label?

After the workshop had ended, it was time to celebrate! When I went to the store to pick up a few bottles of beer, I found this on the shelf. It was the only beer in stock from India, and moreover, it had this lovely script on the label. I had to buy it! Tastes like any average beer, though.

Mathieu already wrote up some of his thoughts about the workshop over the weekend. As always, they are worth reading.