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May 12, 2021

Western foundry founts in the Kannada and Telugu scripts: Lecture 9 June 2021

St Bride Library's annual Justin Howes Memorial Lecture, with Pria Ravichandran

Wednesday 9 June 2021, 7–8.30pm (GMT), Online via Zoom. Tickets: £3–5

European and American printing establishments in the Indian sub-continent during the 19th century were responsible for the foundry type endeavours in the Kannada and Telugu scripts. During the later part of the 16th century, Europeans arrived at the Indian sub-continent to pursue pepper trade, which eventually extended to colonisation. As colonialism gained a foothold and the East India Company revised its religious policies, missionaries found it pertinent to intervene with the religious beliefs and evangelise the locals.

The talk identifies the factors from the foundry type period that influenced the typographic forms of the Kannada and Telugu scripts. It mainly explores the role of type making in the divergence of the Kannada and Telugu scripts, the introduction of modulation and stroke contrast, the standardisation of their respective typographic forms, the demands from the printing environment, and how this history can inform current practice. Inadvertently, it also identifies the first book printed in the Telugu language with movable type.

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Posted by Ben Weiner at May 12, 2021 08:08 PM