Introducing Adobe Telugu

by Paul Hunt

posted on 11-29-2018

The type team at Adobe has an ongoing initiative to design fonts for the top 10 languages of India, and, with the release of Adobe Telugu, we’re a bit closer to realizing that goal.

Telugu script is used primarily in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for writing Telugu language. It is also used extensively for Sanskrit texts and for representing the Gondi language. Historically, the written form of Telugu evolved in tandem with Kannada script, and their appearance is very similar.

The rounded appearance of Telugu and Kannada scripts is an artifact of having been developed for writing on palm leaf manuscripts—the loopy shapes prevent ripping of the leaves while writing. Adobe Kannada Italic is next in line for release and will be available soon.

For the design work on the Adobe Telugu project, we worked with Valentin Brustaux based upon the recommendation of our Brahmic type adviser Fiona Ross, as well the excellent Telugu design Valentin created for Microsoft’s Nirmala UI fonts. We asked him to harmonize the design with that of Adobe Kannada, which he did beautifully, while adding his own masterful touch to the design.

As with our other Indian type projects, we consulted with Fiona extensively on all aspects of the design process to ensure the highest quality of authenticity and design.

Some features of Telugu writing that present unique design challenges include the complexity of the curved outlines, and many very small counter shapes. Text in specimen is from The Story of Manu 1:14 by Allasani Peddana.

When we design fonts, there’s often the question of whether we’re optimizing for digital use or for print. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, printed material still makes up 20 percent of India’s media and entertainment market, just after television at 44 percent. This means that there is still a strong need for Indian fonts attuned to printing processes. We’ve tailored the design of Adobe Telugu specifically for usage in print, although it also renders very crisply on screen.

It’s a delight to be this much closer to our goal of supporting all of India’s languages. Adobe Telugu is in the complete library of fonts included with all paid Creative Cloud plans.

Topics: Creativity, Typography