How Phoreus Cherokee Helped a Nation - Maine College of Art

Mark Jamra

it’s a syllabary and so I had to look at everything I was doing in a completely different way.

In 2014, inspired by a conference presentation he saw about the Cherokee Nation’s efforts to integrate the Cherokee language into current technologies, Professor of Graphic Design Mark Jamra created the Phoreus Cherokee typeface, the first usable multi‐weight Cherokee / Latin typeface family. Previously there were few available Cherokee typefaces, primarily limited to signage and not able to be integrated with Latin English. Mark’s Cherokee font serves as a vital communication tool. The font was included in Typographica’s list of top 2014 typefaces.

Mark has designed and produced typefaces for over 30 years. He owns TypeCulture® LLC, an independent digital type foundry and rich academic resource for students, educators and professionals, and is a co‐partner in Jamra Patel, a letterform design studio that also creates innovative type systems for use in under‐served language communities in the U.S. and abroad.

In a recent interview with CreativePro.com, Mark described Phoreus Cherokee as “a very challenging project. First of all, it’s a syllabary—not an alphabet—and so I had to look at everything I was doing in a completely different way. It was a fantastic learning experience. Also, it’s great to have created something that will actively help in the preservation of a native American language and culture.”

Mark’s Website