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Fonts for Vai


This page presents two Vai fonts, Dukor, which was based on glyphs drawn originally by calligrapher Jason Glavy, and Wakor, which was based on the SIL Vai font—the one that was used in the Vai New Testament published as ꕢꕌꔳ ꕺꖃ ꕯꕮꕊ (Sahati kpolo Namaã) in 2002. Both fonts have both plain and italic faces, and both have additions needed for older Vai orthography.

The current versions of the fonts are Wakor 4.0.7 and Dukor 1.0.7.

Download the Vai fonts

  * Download Dukor Mac OS X, for Linux, or for Windows (.ttf format)
 * Dukor OFL licence
 * Download Wakor Mac OS X, for Linux, or for Windows (.ttf format)
 * Wakor OFL licence

Detailed instructions on downloading and using Vai fonts

Installing Vai fonts on Mac OS X

  1. Download the fonts “Dukor” and “Wakor” and unzip the .ttf files. (The files are inside folders compressed in .zip format.)
  2. Installing the fonts is easy. Either drag the fonts to ~/Library/Fonts or double-click on the fonts and let FontBook do the installing.
  3. Archive or delete the .zip file as you wish.

Installing Vai fonts on Ubuntu Linux

If necessary, download and install Ubuntu Linux. I used version 7.04 Desktop Edition. (If you are using Parallels on the Mac OS you may need these instructions.)

  1. Download the fonts “Dukor” and “Wakor” and unzip the .ttf files. (The files are inside folders compressed in .zip format.)
  2. Go to Places > Home Folder to open the File Browser.
  3. Go to Go > Location...
  4. In the “Location:” box, type “fonts:///” and press Return.
  5. Drag the unzipped .ttf files into the Fonts directory. (They will copy there; the originals will be left on your Desktop.)
  6. Archive or delete the .zip files and .ttf files on the Desktop as you wish.

Installing Vai fonts on Windows XP

  1. Download the fonts “Dukor” and “Wakor” and unzip the .ttf files. (The files are inside folders compressed in .zip format.)
  2. Go to Start > Control Panels to open the Fonts control panel (in Classic View).
  3. Go to File > Install New Font…
  4. Navigate to the .ttf files and highlight them to install them.

Install and use a Vai keyboard layout

Installing an Vai keyboard layout on Mac OS X

One keyboard layout is included: Vai QWERTY which is optimized for English-language typists. Once the keyboard has been installed, you can use it to type English, transliteration characters, and

  1. Download the Mac OS Vai keyboard layout package. (The files are inside the folder “VaiQWERTY.keylayout”, which is compressed in .zip format.)
  2. Install the keyboard layouts by dragging them (the .keylayout and the .icns files, not their enclosing folder) to ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts.
  3. To use a keyboard layout, select the one you want from System Preferences > International > Input Menu.
  4. The VaiQWERTY keyboard types Latin characters; to activate Vai, press Caps Lock.

Character set and glyph repertoire (all platforms)

A Vai font may have only Vai characters in it, but for convenience a Vai font should have some other characters (letters, digits, punctuation, and other symbols). I recommend that fonts support Latin as well as Vai letters. At a minimum, all the letters in the Windows ANSI code table, all the letters in the Macintosh Roman character set, and a few additional letters used in African languages should be included in addition to Vai letters. A PDF file contaning the recommended glyph set and glyph-names for Vai Unicode fonts is available. The current version is dated 2009-08-26.

Applications for font design

I use the application Fontographer to draw my glyphs, and generate my TrueType fonts in “.ttf” format from that. Then I open the “.ttf” file with the application FontLab to process them so that they are “Unicode ready”. Then I generate a fresh “.ttf” file from FontLab.




HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, Cnoc Sceichín, Leac an Anfa, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo, Éire, 2010-09-20

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