Project Description

Various challenges have prevented the emergence of quality calligraphic Bengali typefaces, in particular the curved matras (top line).  In honor of the one-year death anniversary of Bengali painter Qayyum Choudhury, I have developed a typeface inspired by his unique handwriting which pioneers Bengali typeface design in a number of areas.  Having grown up in Bangladesh fluently speaking Bengali, I have for years documented calligraphy examples around me.  Instead of simply following the Western trajectory of typeface design like many have done with Bengali, I wanted to allow the fluidity and character of Bengali hand lettering to come through, which is now made possible with opentype contextual substitution syntax.  This involved creating positional alternates, ligatures and swash alternates.  However the key challenge was to preserve the natural curvature of the matra line without creating an impossible number of glyphs & substitutions; this was solved by creating 6-8 categories of glyph kernings and then separating out the letters from the matras.  This unique method is the first successful attempt I know of in preserving matra curvature in any Indic script.

Qayyum (150)-01

Qayyum-150-06

Qayyum-150-05

Qayyum-150-04

Qayyum-150-03

Qayyum-150-02