TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Fri Feb 3 14:42:55 EST 2023






The Nina story

No, this is not about Matthew Carter's/Microsoft's Nina. And it is not about ParaType's Nina, a handwriting font designed in 1995 by Tagir Safayev. There is a third Nina font family out there that dates from 1996 and that was created for the transliteration of Sanskrit. It is really strange how Microsoft was even able to get the name Nina through the legal channels, but I guess Microsoft writes its own laws. Anyway, that third Nina font series is available here: Nina_1_0_bold, Nina_1_0_italic, Nina_1_0_bolditalic, Nina_1_0. The notice in the fonts said "Copyright (c) 1996 International Journal of Tantric Studies. All rights reserved." That journal states: "The Nina font for Devanagari is based on a totally new encoding, that allows the concurrent use of extended characters for the European languages, and characters for the Devanagari, making it possible for scholars to use just one font for all their publications. These fonts are not a mere redesign, but attempt to (partially, at least) solve a problem that affects the majority of Sanskrit scholars." Ulrich Stiehl has this to say: "It is easily recognizable that "Nina" is identical with "Original Garamond", designed by D. Stempel AG in 1926 on the basis of a typecut attributed to the Renaissance typecutter Claude Garamond. In 1996, the trademark "Original Garamond" was replaced by the fancy name "Nina", and the "International Journal of Tantric Studies" (IJTS), edited by Prof. Michael Witzel (Harvard University), claimed that the IJTS holds the "copyright" in the "Nina" font. Is this the usual method, by which "original" works are created at Harvard? It is assumed that academics are able to understand that the trademark "Original Garamond" should not have been replaced by the fancy name "Nina" and that the original notice should not have been replaced by the notice "Copyright (c) 1996 International Journal of Tantric Studies. All rights reserved.".

The Nina story
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David and Goliath ⦿ Indic language fonts ⦿ Type design in India ⦿ Garalde or Garamond typefaces ⦿

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html