Digitisation of the Ndyuka Script

Agyei Archers’ first project that I choose to focus on is his variable font project for Google which is going to focus on a creole language that is based in Suriname. He did in-depth research for this project about linguistics and the language in general and was able to design and code a typeface system that would allow users to translate between this language and Latin. This language is derived from the Ndyuka people which is a tribe in Suriname. While the language is still spoken very little exists of its writing, especially on the internet. Agyei Archer’s goal as a designer is to popularize and introduce lost Caribbean dialects and languages to people in hope that their legacy can be saved. He is a big proponent of diversifying the graphic design and typography industry and this project which will soon be taken on by Google was one of his firsts. It inspired him to study a different language and its relation to design. He even worked with a linguist to create some writing for this language. Some symbols were harder to decipher and categorize as very little research is done on such a language. The origin story is of a Ndyuka man that in a dream was given many symbols which he established into a language. At first, it was only used for smaller things like recipes, and later it was passed on to more people of the tribe. It was one of the only written creole languages to exist in the Western Hemisphere. This typeface system took him nine rigorous months and 720 hours to complete. 

  1. “TEDxPortofSpain ” Agyei Archer.” TEDxPortofSpain, http://tedxportofspain.com/portfolio/agyei-archer/#prettyPhoto.
  2. “About.” Design Objective, http://designobjective.org/about/.