Font experts rubbish Maryam Nawaz Media Cell’s attempt to create ‘Calibritgate 2.0’
Allegations that the documents submitted by Pakistan Tehrik i Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan to the Supreme Court were forged because of the font they were written in have been proven incorrect by typography and font experts. The situation had been eerily similar to what famously became known as the ‘Font Gate’ when the JIT investigating the Panama papers called out documents submitted by Nawaz Sharif for being typed in a font not available at the given date of the documents.
Pictures of a letter addressed to a UK bank and signed by Imran Khan asking for $100,000 to be transferred to the account of his then wife Jemima Khan had been making rounds on the internet. A number of people, including prominent personalities from the PML-N, alleged that the letter had been written in the Cambria font – which was created and made available in 2004. The letter had been dated 2003.
Maryam Nawaz had been one of the first people to point it out, tweeting a picture of the letters and seemingly asking someone to look into the matter. “No one would now be looking for the font. Could be Calibri” she had said in regards to Imran Khan’s documents.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudry had been quick to reject the claims, criticising Maryam Nawaz for “tweeting without bothering to get basic confirmation.”
He then went on to explain that the font was not Cambria at all, and that it was rather in the ‘CG Mega’ font which has been available for office use since the late 1950s. The matter remained hotly debated with numerous people from both sides attacking However, font and typography experts have now confirmed to Pakistan Today that the letter has not been written in the Cambria font, or any other Microsoft ClearType format for that matter (all of which were launched nearly at the same time).
Rachel Reiss, a New York based typesetter and book designer told Pakistan Today that “That is definitely not Cambria—Cambria is a quirky serif font, and that is a sans serif with variable thicks and thins, Optima at a guess.”Publication designer and former Editor in Chief, MacUser magazine (UK), Adam Banks, also concurred with Miss Reiss’s assessment saying “The letter is in Optima, which dates back to 1958. It bears no resemblance to Cambria at all.”
Others disagreed on which font it was, but did agree on the fact that it was definitely not Cambria or any other ClearType font. Speaking to Pakistan Today, Type designer Martin Silvertant said “It’s not Cambria or any of the other Microsoft ClearType typefaces. Not even optima as some are suggesting. But it is assuredly made before 1995.”The letter in question, however, did remain under dispute for other reasons. Many pointed out that the signatures of Imran Khan on two different letters were different and that the letterhead of the letters was clearly that for the “Imran Khan Cancer Appeal,” indicating that the matter was indeed of public funds.
However, these points were also dismissed by Fawad Chaudry, who said that the courts had already said that it did not matter what stationary was being used as long as the receivers of the letters knew they were from Imran Khan. It still remains to be seen whether the claims being made by Imran Khan’s opponents will be raised in court and whether they will have a lasting impact or not.