Dave Crossland and Pathum Egodawatta, Font Consultants with the Google Fonts project, are currently working on creating Devanagari fonts that will be accessible to all.
Dave believes that Google Fonts makes web fonts fast, easy and free.
“It was started in 2010 and has grown into the world’s most popular web font service, used on millions of websites, from personal blogs to the homepages of international corporations. All the fonts in the Google Fonts are libre licensed (also known as open source), which means everyone in the world is encouraged to use them freely, share them, and even modify them.”
The biggest challenge for Dave and Pathum is that there are not yet many type designers in India who have learned the latest ways of designing that are taught and practiced in the West. But they feel the best way to solve these basic technical and traditional problems is to work together as a community – building on collective knowledge. That is actually what Google Fonts project is about.
Duo plans to conduct a series of workshops and talks around India, promoting the use of web fonts and generally type design.
“All the fonts are released as ‘libre’ fonts,” – they say. “This means other designers are invited to give feedback to the designers and developers, and even send them direct improvements.”
Dave and Pathum are convinced that digital publishing has become mainstream and the mobile web is exploding:
“Many companies have realized the importance of taking the internet to the next one billion people and almost all the major internet companies have operations in India. Companies like Google have realized that in order to cater to these markets they need to follow different and more native approaches. The Android One Smartphone lineup is a good example of this strategy.”
Around 100 fonts will be released by the end of this year and they hope to see a gradual increase in adoption of Devanagari web fonts.
Read more about Devanagari in Google Fonts project in POOL 53.