Saturday, April 13, 2024

This New “Ojuju” Typeface By Chiasaokwu Joboson Supports 514 African Languages

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Have you ever ever tried typing a phrase in your native language, like “uwa” for mom in Hausa or “chakula” for meals in Swahili, solely to seek out that one thing’s off? You modify your keyboard, but it doesn’t show your phrases precisely. The typeface could even look unusual.

You’re not alone. It is a widespread frustration many face when making an attempt to specific themselves of their mom tongue. It’s also a significant cause that Chiasaokwu Joboson created the “Ojuju” typeface, “Many typefaces don’t cater to African languages,” he says. “Ojuju was designed to assist 514 African indigenous languages. So this implies numerous letters (or glyphs) in your language alphabet which you’d often not have the ability to kind simply in lots of typefaces might be discovered within the “Ojuju” typeface. Africans mustn’t really feel uncatered for within the grand scheme of issues regarding design and communication and the Ojuju typeface is one out of many to assist resolve that, apart from being a pretty-looking font.”

Of the 7,000 languages spoken globally, 6,700 are indigenous and vulnerable to disappearing each two weeks, in response to UNESCO (The UN Academic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). Nigeria and Cameroon are among the many international locations with endangered languages.

Given these challenges, particularly in a digital period, folks ought to have the ability to discover their languages on a keyboard that caters to their communication wants. The need for appropriate fonts and keyboards in preserving African languages, whether or not on the web or in print, is extra crucial than ever.

The “Ojuju” typeface addresses this hole and contributes to the promotion of indigenous African languages.

“We’re shifting in direction of an period the place digital communication in indigenous African languages will probably be potential. For instance, Africans will have the ability to use apps which have an choice for his or her languages, identical to Asians do. Studying may also be digitally potential in African languages. Reaching this requires creating constructions that allow African languages to thrive, and African typography is on the centre of this effort.”

The selection of the identify for the typeface, “Ojuju,” attracts inspiration from Chiasaokwu’s childhood fascination with African Masquerades. In Nigeria, “Ojuju” is a well-liked phrase to check with masquerades. When deciding on a reputation for his typeface, he knew he needed it to mirror his recollections of masquerades.

“As a toddler, the point out of this identify would have us youngsters both working away to cover or working towards the masquerade to catch a glimpse. Each time I visited my hometown in Enugu, I might see the village masquerades and be captivated by their intricate identities, swift actions, fiery appears, and intriguing tales. When Google Fonts approached me to design a typeface with African essence, I used to be already exploring kind design and looking for methods to create modern fonts that might assist African languages. And so I selected the identify “Ojuju” for my typeface. It’s an easy-to-remember identify that rolls off the tongue as properly.”

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