Cultural Awareness in Type Design: Adelle Sans Devanagari by TypeTogether

Cultural Awareness in Type Design: Adelle Sans Devanagari by TypeTogether

TypeTogether – Veronika Burian and José Scaglione’s independent, cosmopolitan type foundry – has released its first Indic and Devanagari typeface, Adelle Sans Devanagari, a new member of the multi-award winning, multilingual Adelle Sans font family and a contribution to the cultural dialogue in the field of type design. 

Rooted in the belief that broad language support is crucial to modern type design, Adelle Sans Devanagari is yet another push in TypeTogether’s ongoing multilingual efforts. Adelle Sans Devanagari translates the Latin’s forms into the voice of over 400 million people, or over 1/3 of all India, harmonising it with the rest of this versatile multiscript type family — now including Latin, Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Greek, and now Devanagari with more scripts on the way.

The original Adelle Sans font family provides a more clean and spirited take on the traditional grotesque sans. In 2013 Veronika and José began a Devanagari project during a concentrated course at the University of Reading, UK. Erin McLaughlin and Vaibhav Singh continued consultancy and design a few years later, and the Adelle Sans Devanagari family came into its own when Pooja Saxena joined TypeTogether in 2017. In all, this family is the culmination of five years of sweating the details.

Adding language support is not a simple act of matching geometry stroke for stroke as it may seem from a distance. Each script must harmonise with the others while still maintaining its own identity. Devanagari script has more round shapes than Latin, with connected, arched, and flowing strokes. It also has deeper vertical metrics and a headline that makes drawing heavy weights a challenge. Adelle Sans Devanagari is therefore rounder and significantly more complex than its Latin counterpart. The Adelle family’s naturally clean and spirited shapes lend themselves to a graceful Devanagari translation of the Latin’s colour and feel, matching the overall functionality, purpose, and cultural awareness.

As is typical with TypeTogether typefaces, the most demanding editorial design problems were taken into consideration when creating Adelle Sans Devanagari: It is therefore available in seven weights that capitalise on legibility and provide the designer a wide range of text emphasis within their layout. By creating weights from Thin to Heavy, the Devanagari is a perfect counterpart to the Latin in tone, vertical proportions, and functionality.

The combination of lively character and unobtrusive appearance inherent to grotesque sans serifs make it an utterly versatile tool for every imaginable situation. Whether for branding, signage, editorial, or advertising, the keyword behind Adelle Sans Devanagari’s use is flexibility.


Concept: Veronika Burian & José Scaglione (Latin & Devanagari)
Design: Veronika Burian (Latin & Devanagari)Erin McLaughlin (Devanagari), Pooja Saxena (Devanagari), José Scaglione (Latin & Devanagari), Vaibhav Singh (Devanagari)
Engineering: Joancarles Casasín, Pooja Saxena
Quality assurance: Azza Alameddine, Graphic design: Pooja Saxena, Elena Veguillas
Copywriting: Joshua Farmer
Consultancy on Devanagari: Fiona RossVaibhav Singh