Rosetta

As part of our long-term collaboration with the Japanese type foundry Morisawa, we developed Arabic, Devanagari and Thai typefaces for the multi-script project Clarimo UD. The challenge was to emphasize simplicity, readability, and to maintain the straightforward, businesslike style of the original.

About Multi-script Clarimo UD for Morisawa

Clarimo UD Arabic, Devanagari, Thai Standard, and Thai Modern are the result of a long-term collaboration between Rosetta and the Japanese type foundry Morisawa. Originally, Morisawa developed their impressive multi-script project Clarimo UD (then called UD Shin Go) as a part of their Universal Design series (UD) which emphasizes simplicity and readability. The support for Japanese scripts, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Korean was developed by Morisawa; the support for Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek was developed by Kent Lew. Rosetta created the Arabic, Devanagari, and Thai counterparts.

Clarimo UD offers a range of weights and italics. Thanks to clear, functional forms and contemporary character constructions, it performs well across different media. This makes it an ideal choice for marketing, branding, information design, and wayfinding. Taking cues from Clarimo UD Latin and Japanese, our goal was to provide wider language support while maintaining the type family’s straightforward, businesslike style across additional scripts.

Clarimo UD Arabic is a contemporary interpretation of Naskh, a conventional and highly readable calligraphic style. Large, open counters and clearly disambiguated characters significantly improve the reading experience of Arabic texts. The typeface supports the Arabic, Persian, and Urdu languages.

Clarimo UD Devanagari supports over 36 languages including Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali. It features an extensive set of conjuncts and half forms, which are used to automatically compose the syllables required by texts from the day-to-day to the scholarly. The design features prominent knots, large counters, and open loops to improve the distinctiveness of particular characters.

Comprehensive Thai language support is provided by two related families. Clarimo UD Thai Standard offers a traditional, looped character construction while Clarimo UD Thai Modern provides a more contemporary, simplified, ‘loop-less’ construction. Both come with italics.

For each of the scripts, we have provided proportional and tabular versions of numerals and a selection of Latin-script punctuation customized to work well with the corresponding script.

This project was developed over several years and continents by a team of designers each specialized in one of the included scripts. The Arabic was designed by Titus Nemeth. The Devanagari was designed by Vaibhav Singh and later adapted by Florian Runge for the revised Clarimo UD Latin. The Thai Standard was originally designed by Ben Mitchell and later adapted by Sasikarn Vongin who also added the Thai Modern. All fonts were engineered and produced in-house by Rosetta.

Credits

Leads

Titus Nemeth Arabic design
Titus Nemeth is a type designer, typographer, and historian. His internationally recognised practice spans commercial and cultural work, with a focus on Arabic and multilingual design. Titus’s research interests revolve around Arabic typographic history, and the history of the book, technology, and design. His publications reflect his activity in two spheres and seek to bridge historical research and contemporary design practice. Titus has taught typographic design at schools in Austria, France, Morocco, Qatar, and the UK.
 
Vaibhav Singh Devanagari design
Vaibhav Singh is an independent typographer and typeface designer. He holds degrees in architecture, visual communication, typeface design, literature, and book history. He was awarded the Felix scholarship for his MA as well as for his PhD at the University of Reading, where he was subsequently a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. He specialises in designing typefaces for Indian scripts in addition to developing Latin typefaces, and is the co-founder of the London-based design studio Typeland.
 
Florian Runge Devanagari design
Florian Runge is an independent designer specialising in typeface design and typography. He holds a master’s degree in Typeface Design from the University of Reading and regularly collaborates with design studios and type foundries around the world. Florian’s interests range from multilingual typeface design to responsive typography and conceptual type-systems. In his research he has explored 20th century Danish type design and investigated typographic practices in the Devanagari script.
 
Ben Mitchell Thai design
After a number of disparate careers gravitating towards design, including several years working in Thailand, Ben finally took the plunge and studied Typeface Design at the University of Reading. He graduated in 2012 and has continued his research into the scripts of Southeast Asia through frequent visits to the region. He is interested in the way writing systems evolve through the interaction of culture, language, and technology. Ben lives and works in Brighton (UK) as a type designer, working on custom and retail fonts in Latin and Southeast Asian scripts. He has also conducted type design workshops and presented internationally.
 
Sasikarn Vongin Thai design
Sasikarn Vongin is an independent typeface designer based in London. During her BA study of Communication Design in Bangkok (TH), she grew her interest in typeface design. Later, she joined a Thai type foundry Cadson Demak to develop her expertise as a type designer furter. After receiving a degree from MA Typeface Design from the University of Reading (UK), Sasikarn set up her independent practice and became Rosetta’s occasional collaborator. Besides her design practice, she also leads workshops and gives talks in Thailand and internationally. She gave lectures on typeface design and typography at leading universities in Bangkok.

Assistance

Mathieu Réguer Font engineering David Březina Production and font engineering