A view of Hindi newspapers and their typefaces
In my M.A. dissertation, I will investigate Devanagari text typefaces currently used in Hindi newspapers. This research will allow me to compare the types and their appearances in print, as well as enable me to develop conclusions regarding which design features make certain Devanagari typefaces more appropriate for newspapers than others.
My practical brief calls for the development of a typeface family for use in contemporary Hindi newspapers. This will have both Latin and Devanagari coverage, and will require investigation into similar typefaces currently in use in India. Combining the practical and theoretical components of my time on the MA programme is an efficient use of available time and resources.
Investigation of the topic
How am I going to conduct my investigation? Primarily, I will have to procure many newspapers from India. Electronic editions will perhaps be able to expedite my search for font names, but I hope to come into direct contact with newspaper editors as well. After reviewing primary sources, I will develop a set of criteria to determine typeface effectiveness, taking into account ink, paper, presses, printing conditions, imagery, cultural concerns, etc.
Outline and organisation
- Digital Devanagari typefaces currently available.
- A brief summary of the development of Devanagari typefaces.
- Historical stages of newspaper printing in India, specifically with the Hindi language.
- Analysis of current design trends and typographic choices in contemporary Hindi newspapers.
- Conclusions based on those analyses.
- Keller, Rob, [Essay on Linotype Devanagari’s development]. Unpublished. Reading: University of Reading (2007).
- Nemeth, Titus, The current state of Arabic newspaper type and typography. Unpublished. Reading: University of Reading (2006).
- Berry, John D., Contemporary newspaper design. New York: Mark Batty Publisher (2004).
- Jeffrey, Robin, India’s newspaper revolution: capitalism, technology and the Indian language press, 1977–1999. New York: St. Martin’s Press, scholarly and reference division (2000).
- Lambert, H. M., Introduction to the Devanagari script. London: Oxford University Press (1953).
- Naik, Bapurao S., Typography of Devanagari. Bombay: Directorate, Government Printing and Stationery (1971).
- Nakanishi, Akira, Writing systems of the world. Rutland, Vermont; Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company (1980).
- Ross, Fiona, ‘From metal type to digital letterforms – a straightforward transition for Indian scripts?’ Matrix, 9 (Winter 1989).
- Ross, Fiona, ‘Non-Latin type design at Linotype.’ Transcript of a paper presented at Twentieth century graphic communication: first annual Friends of St Bride conference (2002). Accessed on 1 December 2007 at http://stbride.org/friends/conference/twentiethcenturygraphiccommunication/NonLatin.html.
- Ross, Fiona, The printed Bengali character and its evolution. London: RoutledgeCurzon (1999).
- Shaw, Graham W., ‘Printing in Devanagari – Monotype’s important role in the growth of printing in India.’ The Monotype Recorder, New Series, Number 2 (1980) pp 28–33.
Resources and collections
- Linotype–Paul work-file archives, held in the collections of the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, University of Reading.