Finding Tamil Typography

The Malaysian Design Archive invited me to talk about my journey in continuously working towards enabling Tamil in technology platforms from the mid-80s. Presented below is the abstract, followed by a video recording of the presentation.

Finding Tamil typography : Linguistic inclusion in everyday technology

15 June, 2019

Prior to the 80s, the Tamil print industry in Malaysia and around the world were only dependant on metal types for body text and display. Types were limited and the number of slots they had for a type was also limited. It costed five times more to print a page in Tamil compared to English or Malay!  Printing books, periodicals or newspapers was a nightmare. The lack of available resources, both materials and manpower, was a show stopper for magazines and periodicals in Tamil where time and cost were critical elements.
Muthu realised that he was a victim of this situation in the 70s – when he was a teenager trying to publish a tri-lingual magazine for a school event in Klang. The determination to do something about it grew stronger and stronger through out his college days. It was so strong that he started researching into a solution right after his engineering degree – even before he searched for a job!
Muthu had not the slightest idea at that time that his passion will make him quit a high paying top-job in a multinational corporation 30 years later and pursue typeface design and language technologies full time, let alone gain a world-wide recognition.
In this presentation, Muthu will share his interesting story that revolutionised Tamil and many other languages in three areas: print, web and messaging!

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