What do you call a circle that is wider than it is tall, has a flat or concave bottom, and is generally top-heavy? Did you guess “Ovoid”? Never heard of it? Don't worry, I hadn't either! The ovoid is an essential part of an art style called “Formline” that is used by native tribes all along the Pacific Northwest coastline ranging from Seattle in the south up to Alaska. In the book, “Learning by Designing”, Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark theorize that the unique shape of the Ovoid originated in the way a salmon egg looks when resting on a flat, dry surface.

Ovoid vs Salmon

Though I’d seen Formline art before, it wasn’t until I read Bill Holm’s seminal book “Northwest Coast Indian Art” that I examined the design language closely. That investigation resulted in this typeface, Salish.

Rain expected this weekend

Strangely umbrella sales remain disturbingly low and the bumbershoot industry has been forced to rely on external sources to survive the rain-cesion.

“It is that dang shadow!”,

a grumpy grandpa growled miserably.

At press time, local residents shrugged their shoulders and went about their day.

Language Support

Salish supports the 200 languages included in Underware's Latin Plus glyph set as well as the practical orthographies for all the Salishan languages including:

Comox, Sliammon, Klahoose, Pentlach, Sechelt, Squamish, Halkomelem, Nooksack, Straights Salish (Saanich), Lushootseed, S'Klallam, Quinault, Upper Chehalis, Lower Chehalis, Cowlitz, Bella Coola, Ditidaht, Tseshaht, Nuu-chah-nulth, Ehattesaht-Nuchatlaht, Kwak'wala, Shuswap, Lillooet, Thompson River Salish, Coeur d'Alene, Columbia-Moses, Colville, Okanagan, and Montana Salish. Haida (a non-Salishan language) is also supported.

If I missed a native language that Salish supports, or prefer a different spelling, please let me know!

Love Salish? Buy here!


Interested to learn more about formline art? These are some of the really great references that I looked at while researching.