If Kannada is so good, why are its fonts so bad?

KIRAN RAO BATNI writes from Bangalore: Have you ever felt the need for funky Kannada fonts? Ever wondered when we’re going to have the Times New Romans, the Lucidas, the Trebuchets of Kannada? Ever felt jealous about how English has so many great-looking fonts while Kannada, boringly, seems to have so few?

If you do, the good news is that there’s finally someone who has decided to do something about it:

“He [K. Manohar Acharya] is here to organise “Chandada Kannada” (beautiful Kannada), an exhibition, at Prasad Art Gallery in Ballalbagh in Mangalore from March 14 to 18. It is the result of his 25-year effort to raise the visual appeal of Kannada script. He claims that this is the first designer script exhibition of Kannada language….

“He suggested that one should take a look at things around him or her. ‘Has not the way we dress changed? The place we live, the way we look, have all changed. Our cars, our utensils, furniture have changed,’ he said and added that this should naturally be extended to Kannada scripts….

“In the emerging global village, English has continuously evolved and its script too has gone global. Designers have played the architects’ role. Stretch the letters “A” and “B” that appear on a visiting card or a marriage invitation as much as you can and observe it. Keep watching the impact of the action once, twice and thrice. You will know what a designer can do to letters,” he said.

It’ll be good to see how many of the new fonts which the exhibition comes up with find their way to the computer and become Unicode fonts. I don’t know about you, but I think Baraha unicode fonts and Microsoft’s Tunga badly need a few cousins.