Type Drives Culture: North American Native Edition
Video Recap

Day 1 | Friday, November 11th

SESSION 1

Introduction Day 1

Neebinnaukzhik Southall

Chippewas of Rama First Nation

Neebinnaukzhik Southall (Chippewas of Rama First Nation), is a graphic designer, artist, photographer, and writer who specializes in working within Indigenous communities.

SESSION 2

Panel I: Education

Moderated by: Leo Vicenti

Sadie Red Wing

Dr. Jessica Moore Harjo

Kathleen Sleboda

SESSION 3

The design & visual impact of Osage Orthography & the utilization of Stencils in the classroom.

Dr. Jessica Moore Harjo

Oteo-Missouria, Osage, Pawnee

Jessica Moore Harjo, Ph.D., Weomepe, is an artist, designer, and educator based in Oklahoma. Jessica’s approach to art and design is unique, post-traditional, and grounded in cultural symbolism. Her research interests are in design and typography as well as intersections of cultural and visual representation affecting social awareness and identity.

SESSION 4

From Logos to Layouts:

Appreciating Letterforms and Working with Type in Ways That Honor Indigenous Aesthetics

Kevin Coochwytewa

Isleta Pueblo, Hopi

Kevin is an award-winning freelance designer based in Seattle. His career includes over 15 years in full-time senior creative roles for companies in the arts, publishing, nonprofit, and advertising industries including Native Peoples Magazine, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and Eighth Generation. He holds a BFA in studio art from the University of Arizona. Kevin acknowledges his Indigenous Isleta Pueblo and Hopi heritage with igniting the spark of a lifelong appreciation for art and design. Being born into traditional cultures with strong and important connections to the land and community has shaped his thought processes, enriched client relationships, and influenced the methods, execution, and aesthetic of his designs.

SESSION 5

By the Sun and the Moon:

Shaping a Sovereign Syllabary for the Lakota Iyapi

Bobby Joe Smith III

Lakota

Bobby Joe Smith III is a Black and Lakota (Hunkpapa and Oohenumpa) graphic designer and media artist. Design, computation, performance, writing, and lens-based image-making are mediums of expression and inquiry he turns to often. His creative practice is rooted in the ongoing decolonial and abolitionist movements led by Indigenous communities on Turtle Island and across the Black diaspora. His research draws from the decolonial, abolitionist, and post-apocalyptic strategies of Black and Indigenous people to construct a poetic vernacular of "unsettling grammars"—gestures, methodologies, and utterances that deviate, disrupt, and dismantle settler-colonial systems. By rearticulating these "unsettling grammars" through the disciplines of media art and design, Bobby Joe seeks to reveal vectors leading toward decolonial futures and generate work that resonates with the people and movements he is from. He holds an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Middlebury College.

SESSION 6

Panel II: Type Design

Moderated by: Sébastien Aubin

Mark Jamra (JamraPatel)

Neil Patel (JamraPatel)

John Hudson (Tiro Typeworks)

Kevin King (Typotheque)

SESSION 7

The Web of Text

John Hudson (Tiro Typeworks)

John Hudson is co-founder of Tiro Typeworks, a digital font foundry specialising in custom types for multilingual publishing and computing. In a 25 year career, he has designed or collaborated on numerous typefaces for the Arabic, Bengali, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Greek, Gurmukhi, Hebrew, Javanese, Kannada, Odia, Sinhala, Telugu, and Thai scripts. He is a contributor to the Unicode Standard, the W3C Webfonts Working Group, and the OpenType variations and layout working groups, and former vice-president of the Association Typographique Internationale.

SESSION 8

Divergence / Convergence of 3D type in Indigenous Design

Brian Skeet

Diné (Navajo)

Skeet is from the Tsé Deshgizhnii (Rock Gap People) clan, born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House) clan. Skeet was born in Tuba City, AZ and raised within Grand Canyon, AZ. Brian Skeet is the Creative Director and Designer for Brian Skeet Design LLC. A multidisciplinary creative studio that strives to cultivate and empower Indigenous initiatives through Design, Research, Technology and Innovation. Strategically, our work focuses on energizing future Indigenous creatives to cultivate, culturally-centered solutions with Indigenous communities through Design and Emerging Technologies. Skeet also holds 5x Design Excellence at Arizona State University and has been featured at numerous National Events including World Design Organization and AIGA.

SESSION 9

Kamama:

From Butterflies to Elephants, 8-bit to Baskets

Monique Ortman

Cherokeee Nation

Osiyo! Monique is a Cherokee Nation citizen from Harrah, Oklahoma. She is a mother, Graphic Designer, Educator, and an M.F.A candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma’s School of Design as an Artist-in-Residence. Her thesis work revolves around her love for Cherokee: rivercane baskets, visual language, culture, language, and typography. This work led Monique into the world of type design, culminating in a Cherokee syllabary typeface called Kamama, inspired by and designed for use in Cherokee basket and mat weaving, as well as digitally.

SESSION 10

Drawing the Cherokee Syllabary and Type Design as Cultural Connection

Chris Skillern (TulseyType)

Cherokeee Nation

Chris Skillern is a type designer and citizen of the Cherokee Nation from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Chris traces his love of drawing letters back to his childhood spent cartooning and, later, to his involvement in Tulsa's punk rock and underground music scene, making flyers and posters for his band and others. As a member of the 2021 graduating class from Type West, the Letterform Archive's postgraduate certificate program in type design, his final project was a type family consisting of three styles meant for children’s books that supports both the Latin alphabet and the Cherokee syllabary. Chris has a special interest in working with the syllabary and plans to pursue it further with the launch of his foundry, Tulsey Type.

Day 2 | Saturday, November 12th

SESSION 1

Introduction Day 2

Neebinnaukzhik Southall

Chippewas of Rama First Nation

SESSION 2

Panel Ill: Typography

Moderated by: Bobby Joe Smith III

Sébastien Aubin

Kevin Coochwytewa

Victor Pascual

Kaylene Big Knife

SESSION 3

Reinventing the Indigenous Graphic Design Cannon:

No Printing Press Needed

Sadie Red Wing

Spirit Lake Dakota Nation

Sadie Red Wing (sadieredwing.com) is a Lakota graphic designer and advocate from the Spirit Lake Nation of Fort Totten, North Dakota. Red Wing earned her BFA in New Media Arts and Interactive Design at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She received her Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University. Her research on cultural revitalization through design tools and strategies created a new demand for tribal competence in graphic design research. Red Wing urges Native American graphic designers to express visual sovereignty in their design work, as well as, encourages academia to include an indigenous perspective in design curriculum. Currently, Red Wing serves as an Assistant Professor at OCAD University (Toronto, ONT).

SESSION 4

Reconnecting Through Design

Sebastian Ebarb

Choctaw-Apache

With a Bachelors of Fine Arts (major in Graphic Design) from the University of Québec, Sébastien Aubin has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has since shaped his professional career as a freelance graphic artist. Aubin has done publications for numerous artists, organizations and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture. Currently based in Montréal, QC, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.

SESSION 5

From Talking Leaves to Pixels

Roy Boney

Cherokee

Roy Boney is an award-winning writer & artist focusing on the intersection of Cherokee language and culture with art & technology. He has contributed art & articles to Marvel, Oklahoma Today, Indian Country Today, Native Peoples, and First American Art Magazine about Indigenous art & history. He is Manager of the Cherokee Nation Language Program. He is Liaison Representative for Cherokee Nation to the Unicode Consortium &President of the Five Civilized Tribes Intertribal Council Language Committee. He has a BFA in Graphic Design from Oklahoma State University & an MA in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas.

Jeff Edwards

Cherokee

Jeff Edwards, of Vian, Oaklahoma, is an award-winning Cherokee graphic artist who has worked for the Cherokee Nation for over 22 years. His career at the Nation has always been working with the Cherokee Syllabary & language and he is a language activist and has worked on numerous projects that have projected the Cherokee language into the global spotlight. His artwork is almost exclusively Cherokee themed and he prefers using the Cherokee Syllabary opposed to English to promote the Cherokee language and likes using old cultural concepts but expressing them with modern electronic tools.

SESSION 6

Panel IV: Archives

Moderated by: Neebin Southall

Menaja Ganesh (Letterform Archive)

Brockett Horne (People’s Graphic Design Archive)

Jim Gerencser (Carlisle Indian School Project)

SESSION 7

Visual Language and Echoing Environments

Noah Lee

Navajo

I was born and raised in Window Rock, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. Heightened by a culture of meaning devoid of decoration and unnecessary components. Applying the subtleties of visual storytelling to typography has been a driving factor in my creativity. I believe the ordering and presentation of information is a key component to bettering our lives from the perspective of both the user and distributor. I am a spatial thinker, and can abstract conceptual components into strong graphical elements. It is my mission to bridge my ancestral art and understanding with modern design applications.

SESSION 8

Indigenous Design Knowledge:

The Worldviews that Shape Our Work

Victor Pascual (DigitalNavaho)

Navajo, Maya

Ya’at’eeh. Victor Pascual (Navajo + Maya) is a designer from the northern Navajo Nation in northwest New Mexico. Victor earned his undergraduate degree in visual communication from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and later earned his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico. For more than 20 years, Victor has worked as a graphic designer at various firms and companies until launching his own studio in 2008, Digital Navajo. Since then, Victor has developed a large portfolio of work while working with Indian-owned businesses, Indian-led foundations and non-profits and tribal governments. Today, Victor continues to take on branding and identity projects, although on a smaller and more refined scale and mostly focusing on work he is passionate about doing.

SESSION 9

Being Seen:

Typography as a Tool for Visibility

Christopher Sleboda

Nlaka'pamux

Christopher Sleboda is a graphic designer, curator, and educator. He is an Associate Professor of Art, Graphic Design at Boston University and teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. From 2005 to 2020, he served as director of graphic design at the Yale University Art Gallery, overseeing the graphic design and way finding for the museum. He recently curated the Multiple Formats Contemporary Art Book Symposium, and is the co-founder of Draw Down Books and the illustration studio Gluekit. His work is featured in more than a dozen books about graphic design and illustration, and he is the author of three monographs.

Kathleen Sleboda

Nlaka'pamux

Kathleen Sleboda is an art director, graphic designer, educator, and illustrator. Her work crosses disciplines, weaving together the acts of making, curating, collaborating, and documenting. She is co-founder and design director of Draw Down Books and principal of the illustration studio Gluekit. For the past 15 years, she has designed books and printed materials for cultural institutions while lecturing and writing about graphic design, independent publishing, Indigenous knowledge systems, and the preservation of cultural heritage. She currently teaches graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Originally from San Francisco, she graduated from Yale University and the University of British Columbia. Kathleen is Nlaka’pamux and a member of the Coldwater Indian Band of Merritt, British Columbia.

SESSION 10

Type Design and Indigenous Language Revitalization

Kevin King (Typotheque)

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.

SESSION 11

ᒫᒪᐕ mâmawô all together

Sébastien Aubin

Opaskwayak Cree

With a Bachelors of Fine Arts (major in Graphic Design) from the University of Québec, Sébastien Aubin has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has since shaped his professional career as a freelance graphic artist. Aubin has done publications for numerous artists, organizations and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters, the next 500 years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture. Currently based in Montréal, QC, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.