West Africa is known to be the most fertile region for script inventions (Dalby 1967, 1968, 1969), with 19 scripts invented in the region between 1830 and 2002. In most cases, these recently invented scripts are not yet encoded in the Unicode standard and require further research. This is the case with the Bété script, for example.
Bété script is a syllabary composed of 448 monosyllabic pictograms to represent phonemes, created in 1952 by the Ivorian artist Bruly Bouabré (1919-2014). Bruly used his writing to transcribe tales and texts from the Bétés, thus, he wished to preserve his culture from oblivion.
The lack of digital support for Bété significantly slows down its use and expansion. As a result, I conducted a first study exploring how Bété writing can be applied to modern graphic design, aiming to promote Bété writing through graphic design. The main objective of this study was to provide designers with a methodological and theoretical basis for integrating Bété writing into modern graphic design.
As a continuation of the previous study, and as part of the research programme The Missing Scripts, this study aims to develop a digital font Bété script and to support Bété script’s acceptance into Unicode. The results of this research will serve as a reference in future research on Bété typography design and, more broadly, will facilitate the transmission of Bété writing and facilitate its use.