The Kannada script can also be categorized according to the thrust and movement of each letterform.
In an Indic letterform, there is a dominant feature and a sub-dominant features. And I had exactly the same criteria to categorize the letters according to the form. But now there is another insight that was provided by a language expert, Dr Vidwans, a professor at National Institute of Design.
There is something called ‘Thrust’. Yes and that is a very important aspect in type design, especially in Indic type design. To explain it plainly, Thrust helps in readability. At the end of the day, although each letter is legible, it will co-exist with other letter. So there has to some kind of a hint for the eye to smoothly accelerate through text.
There are two kinds of thrust: (i) explicit thrust and (ii) implicit thrust. The explict thrust can be seen dominant in the Devanagari script. The Devanagari letterforms hang like fruits from the topbar. The Roman letterforms have strong base. And it seems, Oriya scipt is the most balanced.
In Kannada script few letters have top bars and others don’t. So I need to work on the visual grammar. Each letterform has to be seen with resect to forms of other letters.
Right now, I am working on the skeleton of the Kannada letterform. I am looking at letterforms as lives since we seem them all around. We intearct with them constantly.
The reference to living being helps. Skeleton helps consolidate the design criteria such as proportion, size, movement, and balance. Then I need to add body parts and give it a shape. And then I need to look at the soul of the typeface. And try to see how I very implicitly place the soul in each letterform.
I would like to share more when I reach that stage. As of now, this is my design process:
(i) Construction of base and independent letterforms
(ii) Creating a visual grammar
(iii) Placing soul in each letterform
Thank you Dr Vidwans.