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Ross, Fiona Georgina Elisabeth (1988) The evolution of the printed Bengali character from 1778 to 1978. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis traces the evolution of the printed image of the Bengali script from its inception in movable metal type to its current status in digital photocomposition. It is concerned with identifying the factors that influenced the shaping of the Bengali character by examining the most significant Bengali type designs in their historical context, and by analyzing the composing techniques employed during the past two centuries for printing the script. Introduction: The thesis is divided into three parts according to the different methods of type manufacture and composition; 1. The Development of Movable Metal Types for the Bengali Script Particular emphasis is placed on the early founts which lay the foundations of Bengali typography. Part 1 is subdivided into three sections, viz. Europeans in India, European Ventures, and Indigenous Ventures. 2. Mechanical Typefounding and Composition of Bengali In assessing the adaptation of the Bengali script for mechanical composition, attention is paid to those developments which precipitated the transition of printing in India from a craft to an industry. 3. Photocomposition of the Bengali Script The advantages of photocomposition are appraised in relation to new technical constraints imposed on type design. The description of the latest stage in the evolution of the printed Bengali character relates the practical implementation of this study's findings, viz. a new typesetting scheme and typeface design for the Bengali script. The Conclusion considers the new methodology adopted for the development of digital Bengali founts and its relevance to the production of all vernacular typeforms. The Epilogue discusses Bengali typewriter characters and low-resolution character shapes. It also considers the implications of new technology that places the design and production of founts in the hands of the non-professional designer. The thesis is intended to be of interest to the indologist, printing historian, type designer and type manufacturer. It comprises 11 chapters and includes 178 illustrations.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

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