This site addresses complex issues related to Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama as well as Buddhism in general.
The general typface for the site is OurType’s Meran and FF Dax. The typeface of the logo is Roboto. Since the vast majority of academic writing that uses Sanskrit is conducted in transliteration, another typeface, FF Fago, is used for those articles and is paired with OurType’s Fresco.
There is also a microsite that introduces a “lost dialogue” between Tibetan Buddhism, the XIVth Dalai Lama and modern art, together with an interview by Louwrien Wijers with the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. This microsite uses Monitor and pairs it with Tiina for headers.
I’m curious to hear why you felt the need for combining so many typefaces. Why add the stylistically unrelated Roboto to the mix, when you already have Meran with its fine display qualities? You mention that some academic articles include transliterated Sanskrit, but I don’t understand why this requires another pair of typefaces … It is not about language support, is it?
Hi Florian, thank you for your question. Roboto was not my choice. Initially, I used Liza Pro for the logotype but friends didn’t really like it and a designer suggested to keep it simple because the images are already so dominant. Therefore, he said, it would be better to have a simple logotype, with a simple typeface, and he suggested Roboto. I was not very fond of using Roboto, and I tried different other typefaces (Whitney, Fakt, Neue Haas Unica, Benton Sans …). I found Fakt very ok and had preferred Fakt but my friends and the designer voted all for Roboto. So I accepted their choice because I am not a professional but a hobbyist.
The former site ran with FF DAX, and all people who got back to me liked this typeface a lot, I liked it too: easy to read, pleasant to the eye, very good for long texts. That’s why I wanted the site to continue to use FF Dax and paired it with Meran.
But for academic articles with the Sanskrit transliteration, you need a typeface capable to show a set of very specific letters with diacritical marks. So it is about language support. There are not many typefaces which have that. Meran and FF Dax can not do this, hence I had to chooce another typeface capable to do that or alternatively; I had to run the whole site with the Sanskrit transliteration able font and say good bye to FF DAX.
Greta and Fedro (Typotheque), FF Fago and Brill (the letter is for free for non-commercial use – but there is no web version of it …) have a set of these very specific letters with dicarictical marks you need for these articles.
To run the whole site with FF Fago I thought is not a good idea, because FF DAX is far better to read and more pleasant to the eyes … so I decided, against standards, to use another pair of fonts only for these articles. The hint to pair FF Fago with Fresco came from David Sudweeks.
Then the other pair (Tiina, Monitor) came into existence because the microsite stresses and art project, and for that, I wanted to have a special page design, and Monitor (IMO) has a taste of the typewriter and typewriter style the article is telling about …
Contributed by Stephen Coles
Contributed by Nick Sherman
Contributed by Florian Hardwig