Letters for a circular crossing: designing a typeface for yorùbá

Session 4

Friday, 1 October 2021

6:00 PM CST – 6:30 PM CST



  • English
  • Portuguese

My presentation will be about the process of designing a complete and complex typeface for the first time. The problems and things I've learned so far that I find important to share. The typeface is called Oniresi and was designed during the Type@Cooper's workshop Principles of Typeface Design: Display Type, in the Fall of 2020, to suit and celebrate the specificities of the Yoruba (Èdé Yorùbá) language. The project was first created in the 80's by Professor Dr. Victor Manfredi (African Studies Center of Boston University) and developed with the help of a famous german type designer. Back then, the idea was to create one unified character map for typewriters and typesetting that contemplated the most common languages in Nigeria, in addition to Yoruba, English, Igbo and Hausa.

My goal was (and still is, as i'm still working on it) to apply a critical view by approaching the original drawings with another mindset and listening to current communication needs of the Yoruba users in the digital era. In Unicode, the Yoruba diacritics are inconsistent (above and especially below the letters) and wrongly considered to be optional rather than essential for reading and writing. Oniresi is not a revival, it’s an endeavor to take another path. One that leaves behind what we no longer want to perpetuate.

  • B. Benedicto


    B. is latin american letter-maker, researcher, educator and non-binary dyke based in Fortaleza, Brazil. As a transdisciplinary designer with a Masters in Graphic Design and Editorial Projects (FBAUP - Universidade do Porto), they work with calligraphy, type, graphic and editorial design.

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