The Adobe Tamil typeface was designed by Fernando Mello for Adobe from 2012 to 2013. Tamil script experts Fiona Ross and Rathna Ramanathan consulted on the design. This type family was designed to harmonize with Adobe Devanagari, both in terms of apparent size and style, to ensure the two families could be typeset together as a system. The primary intended usage ̶ for printed outputs, particularly continuous text settings ̶ guided the design direction.
The letter construction is based on traditional Tamil penmanship and features a contrast distribution somewhat lower than the norm so as to maintain strong, legible forms at small sizes. The design features careful attention to shaping and details that allow these typefaces to also serve well as display types at larger sizes. Many available Tamil types feature sloped letterforms, however the Adobe Tamil design features upright forms that follow typical letter construction found in calligraphy and in writing.
The Adobe Tamil fonts comply with the Unicode standard for character encoding and leverage the technology of OpenType to produce correct script shaping and accurate pulli placement. The fonts feature an extensive set of ligatures that encompasses classical and contemporary forms of the Tamil script. The fonts include both proportional and tabular numerals in European styles, as well as proportional forms for Tamil numerals. Additionally, ligature forms for traditional orthography are accessible via stylistic sets.
The Adobe Tamil fonts are further examples of Adobe’s high standards in design and acute attention to technical quality, and provide an excellent alternative to existing digital Tamil types.