Pune company develops digital font of popular Marathi writer PL Deshpande’s handwriting ‘to make him immortal’

The process to develop the font started as an in-house exercise with data sampling of the letters written by Deshpande.
Purushottam Laxman Deshpande was a famous Marathi writer.(Twitter /@micnewdelhi)
Purushottam Laxman Deshpande was a famous Marathi writer.(Twitter /@micnewdelhi)
Updated on Jun 11, 2020 03:40 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

A Pune-based digital agency has developed a digital font of popular Marathi writer Purushottam Laxman Deshpande’s handwriting. The agency ‘Be Birbal’ said that it has been done so that Pu La - as the writer is popularly known - remains alive among Marathi audience forever.

The agency will formally launch the font on June 12th - the death anniversary of Pu La. Besides being a writer and humourist, Pu La was also a music director.

The font, titled PuLa100, will be available for free. ‘Be Birbal’ said the font will let its patrons experience what they write in the penmanship of their favourite humourist.

Gandhaar Sangoram, Founder and Director of Be Birbal, said, “The idea to pay a tribute to this legendary author by developing a digital font of his handwriting was conceived in his birth centenary year (2019). Therefore the name - PuLa100. With a meticulous effort of about one and a half years today we are happy to see it become a reality.”

The process to develop the font started as an in-house exercise with data sampling of the letters written by Deshpande, which were procured from Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). Subsequently, a font expert was brought on board to realise this dream.

“Considering the huge following of PuLa all across the world, creating a digital font of his handwriting was a task loaded with responsibility. The basic challenge was to capture the essence of his writing in the font,” said Sangoram.

“PL Deshpande’s handwriting had a flow which was derived from the speed of his thought and every curve of every letter is a visual testament to a hand trying to keep up with the mind. To take the physicality and tangibility of something as personal as someone’s handwriting, and making it digital and to immortalise the essence of that person, is our biggest achievement so far. Dinesh Thakur, Jyoti Thakur, and Niranjan Abhyankar from IUCAA along with Kimya Gandhi contributed in this process of font development,” said Sangoram.

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