Linotype Bengali and the digital Bengali typefaces
With an enquiry into the current state of Bengali typesetting
Master of Arts in Typeface design, University of Reading
The Linotype Bengali typeface for digital typesetting was designed at the end of the 1970s for Anandabazar Patrika, the biggest publishing house in Kolkata. Although Linotype terminated production of this typeface in the early 1990s, today it very nearly monopolizes Bengali typesetting.
This essay investigates the reasons behind this. It focuses on the making of Linotype Bengali and illustrates how local industry has copied it, without exploring new design possibilities, and how the typesetting technology used for Bengali also shares responsibility for this situation. An overview is provided of currently available Bengali type designs that have been pro- duced in very recent years.
Hi-res pdf (25 MB)
Finished inked letter-drawing on film for vowel sign i of Linotype Bengali; on the back the 54 units grid; ca. 1980. From: Non–Latin Typedesign Collection, Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading.