Syed Manzar

Syed Manzar Hasan Zaidi - Mumbai September 2011 Syed Manzar

Syed Manzar has virtually rejuvenated Urdu calligraphy that was on the throes of death by linking it with digital technology. He has brought revolutionary change in Urdu printing and publishing skill. He has made Urdu language a hi-tech affair which was earlier done with the help of calligraphers.

Early life

Eldest among his six brothers and younger to his only sister, Syed Manzar is endowed with a keen interest in computer technology. Born on October 15, 1969 (3 Shaban شعبان) in Mumbai, an island city of Maharashtra state in India. The industrious son of a well-known businessman, Syed Mukhtar Hasan Zaidi (Abu Bhai), Manzar accomplished his Masters Degree in computer application (MCA) quite early in his life, while still doing 12th standard, as a part time course from APTECH institute of the city.

Being an Urdu medium student who did his schooling from Anjuman Khair-ul-Islam, Manzar had a deep feeling for Urdu as the language suffered from many of the handicap in its printing technology. This love for the language blossomed into versatile Urdu Unicode Fonts, developed by Manzar and his core team of professionals that helps Urdu publishing houses in multifarious ways.


A man with a rare philanthropic temperament, Manzar at times go out of the way to help his friends and even strangers from thorny situations. In this 21’st century where competition is the buzzword, Manzar still believes in cooperation and collaboration. Philanthropy may have become the style statements of today’s elites but Manzar, in his own inimitable style, is practicing it since his adolescence, much ahead of what business magnates Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are doing today, albeit, this may be a peanut compared to the latter altruistic endeavor on global scale.


He had created most of the fonts used in InPage software, arguably world's best Urdu software as far as pagemaking in Urdu is concerned. InPage was honoured by Urdu Academy Delhi in 2006. Later, on May 1, 2009, Syed Manzar received an award underlining his achievements and excelence in Urdu computing at a function felicitating people of high repute in the field of art and language by Pasbaan-e-fun - an organization of artists, caligraphers and painters, for his contribution in Urdu printing technology in the textile town of Maharashtra, Malegaon. They recognized the services of Urdu Fonts, calligraphic fonts developed by Syed Manzar and his small team of researchers. The new fonts, especially Faiz Nastaliq and Manzar Indo-Pak Naskh, were greatly appreciated by the eminent judges on the panel.

Axis SoftMedia (Center for Research in Digital Calligraphy)

Syed Manzar developed Axis SoftMedia Pvt. Ltd. (Center for Research in Digital Calligraphy - Perso-Arabic), a font-developing research-lab based in Mumbai, India that primarily works on developing fonts that have Perso-Arabic origin. This digital software company was established in 1992 to cater to the needs of the Perso-Arabic Publishing Market and the computing world. The company develops all fonts of InPage except Noori Nastaliq. Axis SoftMedia is the first of its kind in the sub continent to develop such fonts. It also creates customized fonts.

It is the first company in India which has worked on Urdu TrueType & OpenType fonts *(1). The company primarily focused on Urdu fonts and calligraphy research. In due course it has emerged into a full-fledged Perso-Arabic calligraphic research center, inviting the best calligraphers from across the globe to contribute.

(1) Before InPage all Urdu fonts in India were Bitmap based.

Published works

Syed Manzar worked on Urdu fonts since 1993. By the end of 1994 forty (40) ASCII based True type Urdu fonts were developed which was launched with InPage1.0 in 1994. This has virtually catapulted Urdu into the league of other Indo-Aryan languages.

Faiz Lahori Nastaliq The Urdu publishing and computing world has long been looking for a new font. A font that is not only aesthetically fine but also technically supportive by developing Faiz Lahori Nastaliq. In 2006 the team of experts headed by Syed Manzar developed a most flexible font called Faiz Nastaliq with Kashish which is considered as a panacea for Urdu publishing world.

Faiz Nastaliq 1.0 is specially created for those who are fond of Lahori Nastaliq. It not only enriches InPage Version 3 but also makes it the most comprehensive Urdu typesetting and designing tool in publishing industry. Faiz Nastaliq gives the designers and publishers the most indispensible high-quality typesetting for literary academic production. It provides ligatures to shape writing of different genre, poetry, prose, blank verse, etc. It is a delight of designers. It will help them enhance the designs of the magazines, hoardings, posters, advertisement and newspapers. Corporate users will be pleased to discover Faiz Nastaliq effective protection of their investment in proprietary typography.

What is Faiz Nastaliq? Faiz Nastaliq is a dream comes true. The type face is designed on the rules & scales of Lahori Nastaliq script set by Late Faiz Katib (1912-1986). Faiz Nastaliq is an innovative set of Fonts for InPage Version 3 that has been specifically developed for Urdu publishing world. It integrates traditional calligraphy with modern typefaces, giving designers the freedom they need to remain creative in today's world. By adding Faiz Nastaliq, InPage Version 3 truly becomes the most comprehensive Urdu typesetting and designing tool in the industry.

Why Faiz Nastaliq? Urdu typography has been a great challenge for the printing and publishing industry. Because it is composed of complex and shifting letters, typesetting technology based on letter analysis could not render the richness of the script. It is for this reason that Syed Manzar, has developed Faiz Nastaliq by analysing individual penstrokes and creating a clear and limited set of rules. Faiz Nastaliq is a true breakthrough in Urdu typography as it allows InPage Version 3 users to fully express the enormous variability of Urdu letters. Faiz Nastaliq returns to the sources of the Urdu script traditions, providing today's generation of high-tech designers with greater freedom and offering them a real Urdu-friendly design environment. The ingenious interface and set of Urdu-related features are ideal to create richer, more complex Urdu typography. Faiz Nastaliq let you work better and faster than ever.

Why it is unique? Urdu typography, so far, was devoid of 'Kashish'* feature of words & ligature. Faiz Nastaliq Kasheeda enriches the publishing world with this beautiful feature and blesses the documents & published data with true flavour of Urdu calligraphy. All the unique ligatures that are used in the font are without 'Nuqta' and 'Aeraab' unlike other Nastaliq fonts. It covers up to 10% less space* than available Nastaliq fonts and looks extremely attractive in 'Kashish' with kerning*.


External links

Contact information

  • Syed Manzar
  • 107 Vaishali B Wing
  • 400010
  • Mumbai
  • IN