Microsoft and McCann New York have partnered in a notable endeavor to digitize the alphabet of Pulaar — the language of the Fulani people in West Africa. The initiative builds off the efforts of two Fulani brothers, Ibrahima and Abdoulaye Barry, who in 1989 created the ADLaM alphabet as a means to preserve their native language. Recognizing the need to adapt ADLaM for the digital age, Microsoft introduced ADLaM Display, a new font optimized for modern communication platforms.
The ADLaM project holds immense cultural significance as it helps preserve the rich heritage, traditions and knowledge embedded within the Fulani culture. With the potential extinction of 90% of the world’s languages by the end of the century, the campaign exemplifies the importance of safeguarding the diversity of cultures and languages.
Successfully integrated across Microsoft’s global platforms, the redesigned ADLaM alphabet is available for download as the ADLaM Display font, and will soon be deployed natively across Microsoft 365 suite programs — both on desktop and mobile devices. The significance of this project extends beyond online communication, with the ADLaM typeface being utilized by local businesses for packaging and by Guinean schools to promote cultural heritage and literacy. By preserving and promoting the use of ADLaM, Microsoft and McCann have taken a significant step in ensuring that the Fulani language and culture continue to thrive in the modern era. This project represents a profound commitment to cultural preservation and linguistic diversity, highlighting the transformative power of technology and creative collaboration in celebrating our global heritage.
Read more about the project here…