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Background

The Maithili/Mithilakshar script was used by the rulers of the Mithila region of India and Nepal for almost six hundred years. It fell into disuse as the consequence of multiple social, cultural, religious, and political circumstances over the years, especially after the 1950’s when the script was formally replaced by the Devanagari Script. Currently, there are almost no instances of this script available digitally, although the Unicode for Maithili was developed in 2015. I started this project as my Bachelor's thesis in 2016 with the intention of creating a typeface, which would help in the preservation and dissemination of the script digitally.

Methodology

Phase 1: Research:


• Collecting Maithili reference materials from the Internet.

• Learning to write the Maithili alphabets.
• Understand their structures and form.

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Kitta is an Indic-script traditional calligraphy tool made from Reed (dried bamboo shoots). Cut off in an oblique slant, the tip produces interesting variation in stroke thickness. The stroke direction goes from left to right, and from top to bottom.

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Calligraphy Explorations (above)

Tracing and grouping letters according to structures (below)

Phase 5: Character design: 

• Deriving other letterforms from the finalized glyphs. 

• Digitising the letterforms. 

Phase 6:

Revision and finalizing the character set. 

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The calligraphy letters were compared to generate a mean angle for pen movement which was 120 degrees. The strokes of the glyphs thus followed this angle.

The glyph development progressed from the simplest letters to addition of elements and modifications to achieve the more complex letters.

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To maintain the cohesiveness of the letters numerous optical adjustments and compensations had to be made.

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ANYA BENGALI 

In continuation of the Maithili face, a typeface in the Bengali script is work in progress. Maithili being the predecessor of Bengali, at least 17 common characters were found between the two. With those characters, the rest of the glyphs for Bengali were constructed. The Anya Bengali is even more refined and is being entirely constructed and engineered on the Glyphs App. It is currently undergoing spacing tests and final alterations. 

Anya Bengali is a humanist typeface designed for display purposes and has 390 glyphs including vowels, consonants, matras, numbers, and conjuncts.

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Introduction

Anya-Maithili is an Indic-script typeface representing the historical Maithili Script belonging from the 14th Century BC. It is a humanist typeface with elegant forms which were derived from calligraphic letterings to retain the authenticity of the script. It is a suitable typeface for headlines, posters, titles and captions. It consists of around100 characters including vowels, consonants, matras, conjuncts and number glyphs. 

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Specimen collected from a field trip to Nepal

Phase2:

• Look into the revival of Maithili as a language and base

for a culture.
• Compare Maithili with other scripts.

Phase 3: Field visit:

• Collecting information on Maithili culture, tradition,

folk tales, religion, etc.
• Field visit to Nepal to search and collect
Maithili specimens.

• Analysing the field study.

 

Phase 4: Exploration:
• Working with Kitta getting the basic understanding of form and strokes.kes.

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