“We wish to give a seamless experience on the font/language publishers want to work on”

says Umang Bedi, managing director, sales & marketing for South Asia region at Adobe Systems, in conversation with Varsha Verma.

Umang BediThe Indic font industry is directly related to the regional language publishing industry in India. As per the latest Indian Readership Survey, nine out of the top ten publications in the country are regional language publications including publications in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Marathi. According to a FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2013, the Hindi print market grew by 9.8 percent from INR 62 billion in 2011 to INR 68 billion in 2012 and vernacular from INR 63 billion 2011 to INR 69 billion in 2012 respectively. This is indicative of the size and potential of the Indic fonts industry.

Hence, software companies are now offering solutions which are making regional language publishing easy. Here, Umang Bedi, tells more about the extent of regional language publishing in India and the solutions they offer.

Varsha: Can you give us some insight into the contemporary Indian type scene as of now?

Umang: The current Indian type scenario across the industry is of a varied kind, there are some who are using type developed in-house, there are some who go in for one man design houses or there are some who utilise the well known font manufacturers. This is basically due to the legacy issues of type not being supported through the layout applications they are using and hence the integrator to type in the Indian language they needed. This is slowly shifting to an Adobe owned and Adobe served scenario where users get Indic language support from Adobe and they can just utilise the font that fits their style and start typing in their favourite tools (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop).

Varsha: Multiple scripts and languages exist in India. How are companies like Adobe gearing up for this mutli-lingual market?

Umang: The Indian print industry is expected to gradually gain momentum from mid-2014 and will be worth 340 billion by 2017 registering CAGR of 8.7 percent. As per FICCI-KPMG, the industry’s future performance will be a factor of the macroeconomic environment stabilising and print players achieving greater operational efficiencies and connecting with readers through delivery of high-quality content. In such an environment, the ability to deliver content in multiple languages will prove to be a much needed advantage. With our latest offering, the Adobe Creative cloud, we provide inbuilt support for ten Indian languages in InDesign CC, Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC - Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Oriya, Malayalam and Kannada. We are excited about the tremendous market opportunities it will open up, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It has always been our endeavour to democratise the publishing industry.

Publishers will now be able to seamlessly work in these regional languages without the need of additional plug-ins. This will have a significant impact on India’s booming regional print publishing industry that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Varsha: What is the strategy while designing a particular font solution?

Umang: At Adobe, we develop high-quality fonts for both print and on-screen usage to support the ten Indian languages, as mentioned above. The strategy behind developing Indic font support in our applications is to give the user a seamless experience on the font/language they want to work with. The vast print and publishing industry in India becomes more expansive with the number of languages involved and this was a requisite for a long time to give users the ability to type and create in the major Indian languages. Our endeavour to make this happen in Indesign surely took time, we brought it out in InDesign CS6, but was worth the effort with least hassles for the user.

Varsha: Who are your major clients?

Umang: Most major publishing houses are our clients. For example, Indian media house Malayala Manorama has implemented a complete end-to-end Adobe technology solution that allows fast and flexible delivery of content across any platform, including mobile and social networks. Manorama Online uses Adobe technology to create and author content. Additionally, leading media houses like Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran and Rajasthan Patrika are also using our products.

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