Take a moment to think about the way most Gujarati text you read looks. Just like most other North Indian scripts – and Urdu, too – Gujarati body text is traditionally set with type whose letters are very similar to older manuscript styles. Their design language is based on tried and true calligraphic models from the past. However, this doesn’t mean that a contemporary Gujarati text typeface has to look too old-fashioned; it is possible to draw letterforms that look familiar and new, all at the same time. Some of the most exciting typefaces designed around the work rely on formal characteristics that originated long ago, when scribes, scholars, and salespeople write with written with broad pens.
ITF Gujarati is the newest Gujarati typeface from the Indian Type Foundry, which itself is based in Gujarat. Strictly speaking, ITF Gujarati is a companion typeface for our popular ITF Devanagari fonts. Just like ITF Devanagari, ITF Gujarati is a a workhorse design whose characters are rooted in established Gujarati calligraphic traditions. ITF Gujarati is an ideal typeface for magazines or novels and other books. However, it can hold up to strict demands of the newspaper printing as well. Satya Rajpurohit designed ITF Devanagari in 2010–11. ITF Gujarati was designed in-house at ITF in Ahmedabad by Parimal Parmar.
Thanks to its visible stroke-contrast, ITF Gujarati is a good match for a multitude of oldstyle serif typefaces that have designed for the Latin script. ITF Gujarati includes five styles, ranging in weight from Light to Bold. As the weights get heavier, their levels of contrast increase significantly, too. While the degree of contrast in the lighter weights is toned down a bit – in order to allow the thinner strokes to remain robust enough – even ITF Gujarati Light features unmistakable diagonal stress. While all of the family’s weights have been optimised to maximise their legibility in small sizes, the Regular and the Medium are the most suited members of the family for body-sized text. The other weights, especially, will be most useful in headlines. The ITF Gujarati’s fonts offer similar colour to those from the ITF Devanagari family when set in text, so the two families may be used side by side.
With 603 glyphs in each of its font, ITF Gujarati’s character set includes all of the necessary conjuncts and ligatures needed for writing the Gujarati language. The character sets also include over four dozen alternate-length i-matras in them, which help ensure proper text-shaping for all Gujarati consonantal clusters (this makes text set in ITF Gujarati look just great). While the ITF Gujarati fonts don’t contain any alphabetic characters from the Latin script, they do include ‘western’ numerals and punctuation marks.