Native North American Type & Type Designers

This directory was created in coordination with Ezhishin, a formative conference focused on Native North American typography.

Led by established and emerging Native designers, Ezhishin aims to facilitate conversations around the typographic needs of First Nations / Native American communities. Hosted virtually by the Type Directors Club on November 11–13, 2022, Ezhishin is part of TDC’s Type Drives Culture series, created to showcase typography, lettering, and type design from communities around the globe.

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Additions and corrections to this page are welcome! Simply send a message via Mastodon or email.
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Fonts that Support Native Languages & Scripts

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By Script

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NameScriptsDesignerFoundryRelease DateSourcesInfo
Kamama
Cherokee

Monique Ortman (Cherokee)

in progress

“This typeface was designed as part of my thesis for Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Graphic Design. I will be weaving type specimen mat posters for my thesis exhibition in October. Once released, this will be available for free to all Cherokee.” — Ortman on Instagram

Meli
Cherokee

Chris Skillern (Cherokee)

Tulsey Type

in progress

A student project for the Type West Online certificate program. Specimen of two weights.

Goni
Jicarilla Apache

Leo Vicenti (Jicarilla Apache)

in progress

A student project for the Type West Online certificate program.

Lava
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot

Kevin King

Typotheque

2022

Typotheque

Background, Typotheque Syllabics Project, Typotheque Syllabics Project video

November
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot

Kevin King

Typotheque

2022

Typotheque

Background, Typotheque Syllabics Project, Typotheque Syllabics Project video

October
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot

Kevin King

Typotheque

2022

Typotheque

Background, Typotheque Syllabics Project, Typotheque Syllabics Project video

Radio Canada
Canadian Syllabics (all)

Jacques Le Bailly

2021

Github

Initially designed in 2017 for CBC/Radio-Canada, the national public radio and television broadcaster. Expanded in 2021 to include a wide range of latinized Canadian Indigenous scripts.

Pangea Afrikan
LushootseedNavajo

Christoph Koeberlin

Fontwerk

2021

Fontwerk

Permanently free of charge.

Cascadia Code
Salishan

Aaron Bell

Microsoft

2020

Github

Initially released in 2019. Added support for the Salishan languages of the Pacific Northwest in 2020.

Ilisarniq
Inuktitut

Étienne Aubert Bonn

Coppers and Brasses

2018

Coppers and Brasses

The Ilisarniq typeface family was designed for the Kativik School Board, the only school board of Nunavik.

Canada1500
Canadian Syllabics (all)

Ray Larabie

Typodermic

2017

Typodermic

Fedra Sans
Inuktitut

Peter Biľak

Typotheque

2015

Typotheque

“In 2015, Avataq Cultural Institute, the Inuit cultural organisation of Nunavik (Northern Québec, Canada), commissioned Typotheque to create an Inuktitut version of Fedra Sans for the organisation’s purposes.” — Typotheque

Phoreus Cherokee
Cherokee

Mark Jamra

TypeCulture

2014

TypeCulture, Adobe Fonts

The first Cherokee font family to include italics. Video, Typographica review, Portland Press Herald, AIGA Eye on Design

Huronia
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutCherokee

Ross Mills

Tiro Typeworks

2013

Tiro

Typographica review

Explora
Cherokee

Rob Leuschke

TypeSETit

2012

MyFonts

Lushootseed School & Sulad
Lushootseed

Juliet Shen

The Tulalip Tribes

2009

Tulalip Tribes

Commissioned by the Tulalip Tribes of Washington. More info.Native American Fonts and Tribal Sovereignty”, Book Club of California Quarterly, July 2018 “Aesthetic Innovation in Indigenous Typefaces: Designing a Lushootseed Font”, GLIMPSE, Issue 7

Kayases
BlackfootCanadian Syllabics (all)CherokeeInuktitut

Chris Harvey

2006

Languagegeek

Chris Harvey description

Euphemia UCAS
Canadian Syllabics (all)Inuktitut

Ross Mills

Tiro Typeworks

2004–2018

Microsoft, Tiro

One of the first Canadian Syllabics fonts to be bundled with operating systems.

Plantagenet Cherokee
Cherokee

Ross Mills

Tiro Typeworks

2002

Tiro Typeworks

One of the first Cherokee fonts to be bundled with operating systems.

Uqammaq
Inuktitut

Ross Mills

Tiro Typeworks

2002

Tiro

Pigiarniq
Inuktitut

Ross Mills

Tiro Typeworks

2001

Tiro

The official typeface of the Nunavut government.

Indigenous Language Resources for Type Designers and Type Users

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Typotheque: Syllabics typographic guidelines

An extensive article by Kevin King on Canadian Syllabics and local typographic preferences. (See also his Google articles.)

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FirstVoices

Extensive data on Indigenous languages, orthographies, and language samples, curated by the Nations themselves.

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Documentation of Salishan scripts

Resources for type designers to cover the Salish languages of the Pacific Northwest

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Native American Language Net

A compendium of online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere

Native North American Type Designers

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More Native Designers

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Native Designer List

A directory of professionals compiled by Neebinnaukhzhik Southall, founder of the Native Graphic Design Project

More Fonts

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Wazu Japan’s Gallery of Unicode Fonts

A list of additional Canadian Syllabics fonts and Cherokee fonts, many by untrained type designers, but license free

Lectures on Native American Type Design

BIPOC Scholarships for Type Design & Lettering Education

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Open for Applications

Letterform Archive offers a BIPOC scholarship in each of its public workshops and the Type West program.

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Deadlines Passed (but may be recurring)
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Display Type BIPOC Fund