Muthu Nedumaran


Muthu Nedumaran has over 3 decades of experience in designing typefaces for complex scripts. He started out by drawing large banners and posters with Tamil and Latin inscriptions while he was at school in the 70s. His initial work in the digital space were bit mapped fonts for the computer screen and printers with a dot-matrix print-head. In the 80s, he developed bitmapped fonts for laser printers. This, together with his simplified input method for the Tamil script, changed the entire landscape of Tamil printing in Malaysia and Singapore. Daily newspapers, magazines and books abandoned conventional letter press for his digital typefaces.  His simple end-to-end system also enabled many new publications to spring up as it drastically reduced the need for heavy upfront investment.

Fast forward a few decades, Muthu’s type design for Indic and Indo-Chinese scripts are now bundled into iOS and macOS and some Android devices. The typefaces cover Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhala, Lao, Myanmar and Khmer scripts. The popular Tamil type called 'Inaimathi' continues to render Tamil text beautifully on iPhones, iPads, HTC Android devices and even the Apple Watches. The same typeface is used as the standard type for Tamil text by the Ministries of Education in Singapore and Malaysia.

Muthu also works on Arabic typefaces, helping designers with the engineering elements of the font. His work on these typefaces ensures that the correct forms are used when the typefaces are used to render text in this naturally cursive script.

Muthu is currently researching on cursive typefaces by studying handwritten manuscripts in archives across the region. His interest is to study the natural movements of the strokes when text is written in these languages. Besides Typography Muthu has also innovated and built fast and efficient input methods for all the languages he works on, in various platforms. His Tamil keyboard app for smart devices, called Sellinam, has over 1 million downloads across Android and iOS.