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4–7 September, 2019

Thursday, 5 September | | Miraikan Hall

Talk | Presented in English

Sinhala Wood-Block Type

This presentation is about the history of woodblocks used in Sinhala newspapers from their inception to the 1990s. Focusing on wood-block compositions, Sumanthri Samarawickrama will take you through a timeline showing how retro Sinhala letters took shape. The aim of the talk is to shed light on the development of the Sinhala script and its historical context. The presentation will elaborate on key characteristics of Sinhala wood-block compositions: the basic geometric shape of the glyphs, add-ons, weight, terminals, and three dimensional effects (outline, shadow, foreground, etc.). It will communicate how letterpress as a new technology was alien to the natives of Sri Lanka, yet they adapted to the global trends of display type. In conclusion, this presentation will show the context in which these display typefaces were set and how they were composed with respect to image, ornamentation, and overall shape.