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Design a freely-available, Gurmukhi/Punjabi, True-Type Unicode font that is also available to ASCII users, based upon a set of pages from a prime… Read More
Design a freely-available, Gurmukhi/Punjabi, True-Type Unicode font that is also available to ASCII users, based upon a set of pages from a primer sent by Punjab Digital Library. Read Less
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The Punjab Digital Library (PDL) has many images of folios, including a primer that was written around 100 years ago.

I had seen this before but somebody let me know that it might be an interesting idea to make a font out of it so I thought that I would give it a go.

I have created many Punjabi fonts in the past (these have been used in Bollywood films, on the covers of dozens of novels, in newspapers and magazines and so on) including the Gurvetica font - a font I designed back in 2008 and released in 2009 that combines the legibility of Helvetica with Punjabi Gurmukhi, to create a high-legibility, machine-produced font.

In effect, GHW Purani Primer PDL, with its deliberate lack of a bar and cursive features is the opposite of Gurvetica.
It also posed some interesting challenges - largely down to the fact that there is rather a lot of programming in the font.
 
First of all, it had to be compatible with both ASCII-range and Unicode-Gurmukhi-range because some of the users have Unicode and some use ASCII.
 
The usual mappings of Unicode Gurmukhi range into the ASCII range is straight-forward but with five or six versions of each glyph to select from, I needed another way of doing it. So, I chose to use ligatures. Simply, select the ASCII letters you would usually use and where the default version is not the one you want, press the slash key'/' and then a number to give you the correct version.
Then, there are dulaunkard and paer versions, all with their own codes. Using it in ASCII is not a nightmare however, the font prompts you so that you can select the correct version with ease.

The Unicode coding is done automatically and is very easy - it is no different to typing any other Unicode text - with paer characters, dulaunkard variants, initial final medial forms all taken care of.
There is more about his font and you can download it for free for any purpose that any normal user would make of a font from here
Look at how the characters change as you add following letters.
 
Have fun.