African typography is inevitably linked in the minds of many to tribal imagery, rough lettering, and loosely geometrical features. Designers wishing to convey an African sensibility in their work through typography are often left with stereotypical choices. A search with the keyword “African” on Typekit or Font Squirrel does not yield any results. Further queries on and Linotype yield these choices: African Elephant Trunk, Lagos Regular, Afroflare Regular, and simply “African.” This latter font family, designed by Anton Scholtz, is by far the most popular hit as it is also present in Google fonts. The font families are predictably called African Gold, African Jungle and African Textile. Needless to say that there is a glaring gap of elegant African-inspired fonts.

So what exactly qualifies as an African font? Is such a designation necessary or even desirable? With such a vibrant culture, Africa is teeming with opportunities for designers to get inspired and bring a fresh new look to a field that can be prone to dogmatism as to what constitutes good typography. Below are some designers aiming to showcase the cultural heritage of the continent and bringing it into the digital age.

Kevin Karanja

Kevin Karanja has an unbridled passion and enthusiasm for design that is infectious! We first heard about Kevin last year on eNCA when they did a profile about his font Charvet. Since then Kevin, hasn’t rested on his laurels. The young self-taught motion graphics designer’s work has even made the front page of Behance. I really think you’ll be inspired by Kevin’s work and his unique approach to his work.

Show Notes

Help Support Revision Path

Interested in sponsoring the Revision Path podcast, either episodically or exclusively? Visit our Tugboat Yards page and help support the show!