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 Twitter 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
Lava
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot
Kevin King
Typotheque
2022
November
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot
Kevin King
Typotheque
2022
October
Canadian Syllabics (all)InuktitutBlackfoot
Kevin King
Typotheque
2022
Radio Canada
Canadian Syllabics (all)
Jacques Le Bailly
2021
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
Permanently free of charge.
Cascadia Code
Salishan
Aaron Bell
Microsoft
2020
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
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
Fedra Sans
Inuktitut
Peter Biľak
Typotheque
2015
“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
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
Explora
Cherokee
Rob Leuschke
TypeSETit
2012
Lushootseed School & Sulad
Lushootseed
Juliet Shen
The Tulalip Tribes
2009
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
Euphemia UCAS
Canadian Syllabics (all)Inuktitut
Ross Mills
Tiro Typeworks
2004–2018
One of the first Canadian Syllabics fonts to be bundled with operating systems.
Plantagenet Cherokee
Cherokee
Ross Mills
Tiro Typeworks
2002
One of the first Cherokee fonts to be bundled with operating systems.
Uqammaq
Inuktitut
Ross Mills
Tiro Typeworks
2002
Pigiarniq
Inuktitut
Ross Mills
Tiro Typeworks
2001
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

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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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