Pinanggalingan: Baybayin Typography Exploration
THESIS, DESIGN RESEARCH, PASSION PROJECT, MULTIMEDIA, TYPOGRAPHY
Over 300 years of Spanish colonialism, the Filipinos adapted to the Roman alphabet and eventually lost the Baybayin script, our early form of writing. So, what if the Filipinos never lost the Baybayin Script?
Background & Inspiration
Many Filipinos didn’t know about the Baybayin alphabet. The Baybayin script dates back to 300BC but was wrongfully known in history books as Alibata–a form of Arabic alphabet. Only some elders in tribes of smaller islands and provinces knows Baybayin. With colonialization, the script was almost extinct by 18th century. No one in three generations of my family, as far as I know, has ever even written a Baybayin letter.
As a designer that focuses on typography, knowing that an ancient Filipino script exists affects me greatly. I first came into graphic design because of my love of letterforms. Growing up with the Baybayin script would completely change my experiences in design, because I wouldn’t have been studying letters that are known to the world, only Filipinos. As a result, I want to give the same importance to the Baybayin alphabet and give Baybayin modern platforms that it has missed out on.
Specimen Booklet #1
I’ve always wanted to create my own typeface (of the English alphabet) because of my love for typography, but that was a goal that I had when I didn’t know about the Baybayin alphabet. So I decided to create my own Baybayin typeface in order to reach that goal instead of the English alphabet. I created two, a sans-serif and a modern serif/didone. Something about accomplishing these typefaces felt right to me.