Type designer Coull Daniel and working group

62500 €

Designing for Diversity: How fonts shape culture, typographic inclusion for African languages

Taiteellinen työ / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Designing for Diversity: How fonts shape culture, typographic inclusion of African languages; aims to explore how best to represent and include African orthographies in type design. African languages, of which there are thousands, have been historically underrepresented and remain underserved as communications move towards a predominantly digital context. In a multilingual, screen-based global culture, typography has become the vehicle for communication and the method in which language systems are inscribed and archived. Language support for typography has increased in recent years, however localisation for African orthographies remains minimal with limited font options available across platforms. The proposed artistic work is a type revival, using the framework of a historical model, reinterpreted and redesigned for contemporary use and technology with the inclusivity of African language support. Type design considers the way fonts are developed and implemented in typography historically and scientifically; while the process of reviving a typeface requires redrawing, revisiting and redeveloping typefaces from an artistic perspective. This process of investigation intends to explore the decolonisation of type design and illustrate the need for inclusivity of African languages in design methodologies. Shifting focus to provide insights and knowledge on how fonts are used in an African context, how to approach inclusivity, and what should appear standardised in typefaces. The perceived outcome would be the production of a versatile typeface family covering a wide selection of African languages. The findings of the working period will be collated into an accessible open source framework, with design information that can be commented on and viewed publicly. This would provide a collaborative knowledge pool for type designers and designers to inform future typefaces.