Thursday, February 09, 2017
LAHORE: It took 10-years for a father-son duo, Nasrullah Mehr and Zeeshan Mehr, to launch a calligraphic-based Urdu font for the Internet.
According to reports, Nasrullah Mehr is an award winning Pakistani calligrapher. He has been in the calligraphy business for more than 30 years and has showcased his art for various books, magazines and newspapers. But as the internet age arrived his business dries up rapidly.
His son, Zeeshan Mehr, chose to join the family trade and after business slowed down, he taught himself computer programming so he could come up with a more refined Urdu font for the internet.
With the support of Dr. Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University (ITU) and the technical assistance of linguistic technology expert, Dr. Agha Ali Raza, from ITU’s Center for Speech and Language Technologies (CSaLT) laboratory, the new Urdu font is enhanced with sensitivity to the intricate Nastaliq style, the language written by calligraphers.
This Mehr-e-Nastaliq Web Font is compatible with more advanced OpenType Font (OTF) technology. Unlike most other Nastaliq fonts available in the market, it has been licensed with the United States-based non-profit organization Creative Commons with a view to make it easy for popular operating system manufacturers like Microsoft to use it with their word processors.
Khalid Javed Yousfi, President of the Calligrapher’s Association of Pakistan believes that the Mehr-e-Nastaliq font is so perfect that you can’t tell if it has been written by hand or on a computer.