DOT’s new font “Barabara” embraces Filipino sign painting

Hand-painted signages are a part of our daily lives for so long. It’s in our jeepneys, in some of our barangay tarpaulins, and even in signs for white sand beach resorts. So with folk signages playing a big role in our lives, the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) latest typeface makes a lot of sense.

DOT announced their latest typeface called “Barabara” on social media last night.  They named the font “Barabara” due to our hand-painters having an “inexact, individual style” when they do signages. “It’s a custom-made font designed to be easier to read just for you,” DOT’s Facebook video for the font indicates.

Introducing “Barabara”

Want to be part of the fun? Download our new tourism font called ‘Barabara’. Use it on your photos when sharing with #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines to get featured in the campaign. Get the font here and watch this video to see the inspiration behind its design.

Posted by The Philippines on Sunday, February 17, 2019

Though the font face’s name is the definition of the “bahala na” mentality, our craftsmen put a lot of effort and care in hand-painted signs. We learned about this in our article called “Subliminal Strokes: The art of Filipino sign painting.” Our writer, Nina Chua, explored the intricacy and thought-process of our signage makers at work. She even tackles the sign makers’ different names for their font faces, like the “Taxi” or “Pancy Letter.”

Read more: This graphic designer turned jeepney art into a downloadable font

“In Carl David Graham’s enumeration in his website made for his dissertation at DLS-CSB, title-style ‘Pancy Letter’ was described as the most distinctive style of Filipino sign making. It is done either with a single stroke of the brush or made with the former’s style of sharp letter endings. They come in a variety of ‘waviness,’ some being tame and upright and others quite curvaceous.”

Graphic designer Aaron Amar has already blessed us with a typeface called “Quiapo Free” last year, and we’re grateful DOT has also taken notice of the signs around us. Gestures like these gives homage to our nation’s unsung craftsmen. DOT’s new typeface embodies the Filipino culture well. It’s distinct, kitschy, DIY-oriented, and we molded it as our own.

DOT encourages tourists and their fellow Filipinos to use in their pictures to get featured in their #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign.

Everyone can enjoy the font for free by clicking here.


Rogin Losa
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