In working on book design projects with Cree text, I found some information hard to find just by googling and sometimes I felt confused. I'm going to share my notes for anyone who, like I did, needs a bit of a primer to get oriented. This is partly a place to send my typography students as a step to further resources when we cover non-roman orthography and emerging typographic practices in class.
There are lots of great resources for anyone who would like to get a better understanding of the Cree language, which I'll put at the top of the post. I am not an authority on Cree, and only hope to provide some context for designers from outside the community who would like to prepare to work with Cree text.
My perspective here is as an English-speaker and a typesetter, and someone new to Cree. Arden Ogg & Dorothy Thunder have both taken time to answer questions from me over the past few years, and I'm really grateful to them for their time.
The specific text examples I am using here are mostly from books by Julie Flett set in several Western Cree dialects, because they are projects I've worked on, and where I learned a lot of this information. This post will be looking at Cree set in roman orthography and in Western syllabics. Read More