Langara College

March 2019

Langara College (Vancouver, B.C. Canada), in collaboration with the design agency Twice Brand and the Musqueam people of Canada First Nations, commissioned TypeTogether to extend Adelle to support Halkomelem.

Langara college musqueam band

Adelle Regular with additional glyphs (red) to support the Halkomelem language.

Adelle Semibold with additional glyphs (red) to support the Halkomelem language.


Welcoming more than 21,000 students annually, the Langara College campus is situated in Musqueam — one of the indigenous unceded territories of Canada and which used to be a village. In appreciation of the the strong ties between the college and the Musqueam people, the name snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, which means ‘house of teaching’, was given to Langara in an official tribal naming ceremony.

Their language, Halkomelem, is a combination of three related dialects spoken on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and parts of the Fraser Canyon by indigenous communities. Downriver Halkomelem is the dialect spoken by Musqueam, and the basis of the work done on this project.

At this occasion a refreshed brand identity, a set of guidelines, and templates was initiated to incorporate the new given name. As one of the first steps, TypeTogether developed the new logo for Langara in close collaboration with the Musqueam Language Office. This required us to design a set of special glyphs, of which the ‘looped l’ presented a particular design challenge. At a later stage the full alphabet necessary for Halkomelem was designed in two styles of Adelle for the college and the Musqueam community.

Vanessa Campbell of the Musqueam Language Office said, “This collaboration with Langara and TypeTogether is an opportunity to share our culture and language with more people in Vancouver. It also helps to revitalize our language by giving us additional tools to share it with others.”

Halkomelen, first nations language, langara, adelle

Updated brand of the Langara college with new given name by the Musqueam First Nations, which means ‘house of teachings’.

Halkomelem alphabet.

langara college, adelle, musqueam band

Sample of text setting of Halkomelem and English.


Type is the visual expression of culture and information which helps to promote diversity, and is therefore especially important for minority languages to keep their heritage alive. The language extension for Langara was a fascinating project for us, both conceptually and from a type design point of view. We are thrilled to have contributed to this endeavour.

Adelle has been used as the college's brand font for the past few years.

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