Homogenising script styles

Urdu set in Naskh, Taiwanese Mandarin set in Simplified Chinese, Marathi set in unmodified Devanagari – inevitably, these all reduce graphic variation. The decisions are often taken by global businesses; the differences are difficult to support consistently across platforms and programs.

Thoughts welcome…
  1. Is this an example of language evolving?
  2. Is it better to be passive, or active, in the decision-making processes?


  • KP Mawhood
    KP Mawhood Posts: 295
    Here's a couple of videos, from Oxford University Press:

    Oxford’s New Global Languages Initiative: Introduction

    Oxford’s New Global Languages Initiative: Connecting Language
  • Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian
    This is a central question in our field.

    It is inevitable, and I would argue that hybridity is a key to progress. To me as with everything it reverts back to Intent. Why is it being done? Often it's to fool people into buying something, which is unfortunate. But so is the fearful pedantry of shunning the playful interplay between writing systems. The best way to kill a threatened culture is to treat it like a museum piece. It must keep adapting.

    As type designers we must strike a balance between giving a voice to people we don't necessarily agree with, and having our own voice heard. For example in Nour&Patria one of the four components is the Latinized Armenian... something I've been railing against for almost 20 years. But it's still not useless. Not including it when another component is the Armenized Latin would have been wrong.
  • James Puckett
    James Puckett Posts: 1,979
    1. It’s the writing system evolving rather than the language. I think in the case of the Indic scripts this could be considered intentional as the scripts were designed to be practical in the first place.

    2. Designers need to be active but defer to the native users. Just because designers can help bring all the details and quirks of handwriting into type doesn’t mean users want to abandon the limits of their typographic traditions, which might be practical if not so beautiful.