Indian scripts dying slow death in digital world: Pani


 Illegible and badly designed Indian script fonts used in the digital media like in mobile phones is forcing Indians to type their regional languages in the Roman script. This practice is killing Indian scripts in the digital world, Arvind Pani, a digital font designer, said on Friday in Goa.
Speaking at the two-day seminar on innovative entrepreneurship – 'The Goa Project' – held at Morjim, Pani said that for Indians who do not know English, the use of mobile phones at present is restricted only to voice calls and makes services such as SMS or internet useless for them on the device without fonts for Indian scripts. Only 10% literates in India are literate in English, which means over 66% literates in the country or half a billion Indians are unable to use mobile phones beyond voice calls. The font of Hindi used in hi-end phones like that of Apple will not even pass the first level of testing in quality as compared to English fonts used in the phones," Pani said, to his audience who were a mix of global and Indian entrepreneurs.
He said that the font should be designed ensuring that its aesthetics and legibility is maintained even when the font is scaled down in size on the digital device.
"English is still only used largely for business purposes in India and not for conversations at home and other personal interactions," Pani said, who has successfully designed fonts for Indian as well as Arabic scripts.
The most common mistake being made in the digital world is using Indian script fonts made for the print media for the digital media, Pani said.
"Fonts for Indian languages are being designed at present by companies like Nokia and Samsung outside the country. We need to design them within India, where there is better understanding about the scripts legibility. Otherwise, it is like the story of the crane which offers food to a fox in a jar with a long narrow opening, which is not suited for the fox to consume," Pani said. [TOI]