This TED talk could not be kept a secret. Now for those of you who don’t know, and are not as addicted to TED talks as we are; TED talks are “ideas worth spreading” on every topic under the sun.
From simple alphabets to secret symbolic languages, graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa celebrates the many forms of written communication across the continent of Africa. He highlights the history and legacy that are embodied in written words and symbols, and urges African designers to draw on these graphic forms for fresh inspiration. It’s summed up in his favorite Ghanaian glyph, Sankofa [pictured below], which means “return and get it” — or “learn from the past.”
This talk not only spoke of the different alphabets in Africa but also the importance of seeking for influence and innovation from within and not trying to simply mimic what is already out there. For designers, this is at the core of their work. Your brand is only as good as your innovation and ability to speak through your designs.
Be inspired and watch this talk Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets.