Amélie Bonet

France

Polydom has changed name since its birth; call it Roxane from now on!

Roxane is a contemporary typeface originally intended for non-fiction publications. Growing and maturing just like a cross-country nomad, Roxane is at ease in a wide range of situations. From a standard timetable to a captioned map, Roxane is versatile. Being also friendly and careful, she is a perfect sidekick to the reader. Roxane is multi-lingual and speaks a large variety of languages from Hindi to Pan-European idioms. The Devanagari part of the family took counsel from Dr. Fiona Ross, experienced type designer specialised in multi-script typography. Following the footsteps of the Latin design, the Devanagari maintains this same delicate femininity and crispness. Besides, a rounded and generous feel makes Roxane flow fluently along the line; with her, you will not lose your way.

The development of Roxane started with an extensive study of numerous Latin and Devanagari references in the blooming garland of the SOAS library (School of Oriental and African studies, University of London). Together with various manuscripts, hot-metal type specimens (Nirnaya Sagar Press in particular) and digital types (such as Linotype Devanagari or Vodafone Hindi), this large scope of information inspired the final design of Roxane. Particularities of the Latin and Devanagari scripts have been further explored by regular calligraphy and hand-writing exercises. Those informed the design decisions and helped to match both scripts elegantly without sacrificing their traditional nature or affecting their readability.

Due to its complexity, Devanagari tends to look generally shorter and darker than Latin. In order to compensate this and to allow for equal importance of both writing systems on the page, the height of the Devanagari headline has been raised (to the Latin small capital height). Furthermore, both scripts share the same visual weight and even colour. This is thanks to the balanced and open counter shapes. The Latin figures used by many Indian languages have been designed to fit well with Devanagari. Particularly, the serifs were dropped in the figures, so to avoid introduction of arbitrary serifs to otherwise serifless Devanagari script.