Typotheque Syllabics Project / ᐃ-ᐅ-ᐊ-ᓕᕆᓂᖅ
For minority scripts such as the Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, the design process must begin with community outreach, rather than drawing, to first understand the needs and technical barriers faced by local Indigenous communities towards using their languages in digital text. Only once the text standards are established, can a glyph set for the fonts be defined, and typeface creation can begin.
This talk explores the process undertaken by the Typotheque Syllabics Project, that of building relationships with Syllabics-using Indigenous communities in Canada, conducting research with them to identify their local typographic preferences and barriers towards using their language on digital platforms, and proposing additions and amendments to the Unicode Standard. This laid the foundation for more comprehensive Syllabics typefaces, and changes the standard for all Syllabics typefaces to come.
Kevin King is a typeface designer, typographer, calligrapher, and type researcher based in Canada. After working at Toronto’s Coach House Press and Canada Type, he completed his Master’s degree in Typeface Design with distinction at the University of Reading in 2018. His work focuses on font support and research for minority languages, working directly with Indigenous communities in North America to support their language revitalization and preservation efforts. Through his work collaborating with Typotheque, he has contributed to reforming the text standardisation for the Unified Canadian Syllabics in the Unicode Standard through character additions and representative glyph revisions. In conjunction with his type design work, he maintains a calligraphy practice, teaching workshops and lecturing on both subjects in Canada and Europe.