Beyond fonts!

What comes to your mind, when you think of Monotype? Ofcourse, fonts and too many fonts...but Monotype is not just a developer of fonts, it is the leader in global typography, which has evolved over the years from mechanical typesetting to digital. More recently, Monotype was in news for setting up a Global Innovation hub in India. What this hub is all about and how Monotype is making print and digital versions look same, finds out Varsha Verma in a discussion with Neeraj Gulati, managing director, Monotype Solutions India Pvt Ltd. The meeting was set up in a posh conference room named ‘Helvetica’ (apt name for a global typographic leader and Helvetica is by far one of the widely used sans-serif font) in Monotype India office in Noida. “Well, fonts play a major role in our life and Monotype has some of the iconic fonts to its credit,” started off Neeraj Gulati, managing director, Monotype Solutions India Ltd. “Monotype’s lineage goes back to more than 100 years. Infact, we have been a part of printing transformation from mechanical typesetting to desktops and now to display devices. Each device, be it a kindle or any other e-reader, has a different screen. The fonts should be such that they are not only legible but also look good on all devices,” he added.

Neeraj Gulati“Besides, brands and organisations initially faced problems with web publishing as they wished all their marketing communications to look same on all devices. Thus, we came up with web fonts, which when embedded in the web publishing software, gives the same look to the content, whether that particular font has been installed on that device or not,” he told. “Thus, we open up a Pandora box for designers, who can now be limited only by their imagination.”

Talking about their e-commerce of fonts, Neeraj told that their website fonts.com offers more than 1,50,000 fonts for different reasons and different occasions. “Designers can log onto the website, try the various fonts and can buy the fonts they like, right from their desktop. This is possible due to the cloud technology we use. Thus, designers are not limited to their desktop/system fonts, thus making their life absolutely seamless,” he added.

And what’s more? Every day, new fonts are launched at myfonts.com where designers can market the new fonts they create. Neeraj gave an example of a lady who was marketing her font at their website myfonts.com that was picked up for the Hollywood movie The Great Gatsby.

Coming to the Global innovation hub in India, Neeraj informed that they are physically present in India since March 2012 and have been developing products for all their centres across the world. “We are heavily focussed on type and technology and have been researching on new products and soon we would be launching these newbies developed here. Though we are very much focussed on the brands in India going digital, we are here to nurture the ecosystem. Our type technology would be global, with a special attention to India. This Indian office has a room for over 200 people and globally we have a head count of 350 people globally.”

In lieu of this, Monotype recently launched Devanagari font called Frutiger Devanagari, at Typography Day 2013, held at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. “Vernacular is the way to go. In the population of 1.2 billion, only 200 million people are comfortable with English, brands and communication have to harness the power of 22 languages present in India,” he added.

“Hence, Monotype is working across print and digital divide. We are working towards offering solutions to brands and publishers to make their communication more effective and powerful, all through the use of fonts,” he concluded.

Monotype offerings at a glance...

e-Reader Font Solutions: Ensure crisp, easy-to-read text on e-reader devices based on electronic paper, LCD or other display technologies. Available in Latin and non-Latin scripts.

Edge-tuned fonts: Monotype’s e-reader fonts have been finely tuned using unique Edge Technology and greyscale hinting techniques. Although they are applicable for any screen technology, these fonts deliver exceptional results when used with e-paper-based devices (such as E Ink technologies). In these environments, superior display quality is achieved even at the lowest bits per pixel (such as 2-bit), resulting in exceptional legibility with the fastest possible page-turn speed.

TrueType fonts: Can be used with any screen technology (such as e-paper, LCD and others). TrueType fonts provide high-quality output with any rendering system.

Language support: Monotypes’ WorldType Layout Engine enables the composition and positioning of multilingual text, including complex scripts such as Indic, Arabic and Hebrew.

myfonts.com: A fonts marketplace. Makes easy for designers to sell their fonts online.

fonts.com: A fonts marketplace, hosts some of the most famous traditional fonts from some of the most famous font foundries of the world. Also a place to buy web fonts.

Linotype.com: A font marketplace that contains fonts from the Linotype library. Hugely popular in Europe and has some very beautiful Indic (Indian) font collection.

Typecast.com: An online (browser based) application that helps create beautiful web design using Typography. Gives the web-design power to a designer. Phenomenal in plugging the gaps in designer-developer workflow and ensures quick turnaround times.

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