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Saguna Gujarati: A hard-working text typeface

Saguna is a Gujarati typeface created for immersive reading. Text faces like Saguna set passages of text that appear even in colour. An even text block is calming, as it is free from visual distraction. At the same time, Saguna’s letterforms include contrast. This helps heighten the visual excitement of a document’s content. Even colour and memorability: the best typefaces found in today’s publication design strike a delicate balance between these two requirements. 

 

Saguna is a hard-working contemporary family. Its five weights compliment each other. They help lend structure to documents, just as their precisely drawn letterforms add clarity to content. Saguna is best suited for print-based environments like editorial or information design. Although primarily intended for use in text-sized typography, Saguna may also be used for headline-setting, especially when the main text is set in the typeface already. For instance, both the Light and the Bold members of the family work well in larger-sized headlines, while the Regular, Medium, and Semibold are intended for smaller point sizes.

As a family of OpenType-formatted fonts, Saguna supports the Unicode standard. Each font includes 738 glyphs. Their slightly compressed style, combined with the fonts’ extensive use of conjuncts, allows for clear and accurate Gujarati rendering – all while making the typeface space-saving and economical, too.

 

A script’s heritage is the foundation for its appearances in print. Much of our comprehension during the reading process relies on the intrinsic structures of a typeface’s letterforms. Our familiarity with these is built up through a lifetime of reading. Inspired by the Gujarati calligraphic tradition, Saguna will quickly feel at home to readers of the script. The typeface was designed keeping an implied writing instrument in mind. Due to its degree of contrast and the angle of its strokes, Saguna produces a similar colour in blocks of text to the serif style typefaces often used in other scripts – including Latin typefaces with an oldstyle axis and a relatively high stroke contrast. Stroke contrast itself appears to vary slightly across the Saguna family’s weights. Although the lighter weights do contain a degree of contrast, they appear more monolinear than the heavier weights.

Since text typefaces often need to be combined with other families or writing systems, Saguna was optimised to work together with other ITF typefaces like ITF Devanagari and Kohinoor

Jonny Pinhorn, a long-time ITF collaborator, designed Saguna during his stay in Gujarat. Jonny is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Typeface Design course at the University of Reading in England. 

 

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