MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Grand, loud, and colorful celebrations are at the core of Filipino culture — which is why the Sinulog Festival leaves its mark as one of the country’s most popular holidays.
The Sinulog Festival is celebrated in honor of the Holy Child, the Santo Niño. During this festival, Cebuanos flood the streets with parades, performers, and devotees holding images and figurines of the Santo Niño.
To help keep the festive spirit of Sinulog, Cebu-based marketing agency Tribox Design has designed a font called “Sulog” — a modern and groovy tribute to the colorful origins of the Fiesta de Señor Santo Niño.
We sat down with Inu Catapusan, Co-founder and Chief Creative Director of Tribox Design, and here’s what we gathered on the inner workings behind the festive font.
The creative process
“One thing Cebuanos have in common is their being ‘mamugnaon’ — being creative individuals. They always want to create their own designs resulting in the use of different kinds of fonts and versions of the Sinulog logo,” Inu shared.
According to Inu, their team realized that despite the appeal of the festival, there seems to be a lack of consistency in terms of the event’s overall design. “We discovered that there is no standard font used since the beginning of the Sinulog Festival — which is a shame since it is such a big event,” he continued.
To solve this problem, Inu and his team went back to the roots of the festival itself. “The first thing we did was gather some of the old Sinulog Celebration logos dating back from the 1980s. Based on the old logos, we created a font system that can be used to standardize designs for local Sinulog fiestas such as Sinulog sa Sugbo, Sinulog sa Talisay, Sinulog sa Mandaue, Sinulog sa Santa Fe, and so on,” Inu said.
“We retained the original structure of the wordmark, the curves that represent resilience, or ‘kalig-on.’ The font has glyphs in upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. Each glyph is based on the word ‘Sulog,’ which means the back-and-forth movement of waves. We also added glyphs for the letters ‘g’ and ‘y’ with tails, upper and lowercase ‘ñ’, and the letter ‘o,’” Inu explained.
This led them to name the font “Sulog” — a Cebuano term referring to flows, currents, and wavy movements — the root word of Sinulog itself.
Long live the font
To help launch the font in time for the festival, Tribox Design teamed up with Cebuano creatives such as Cebu Insights PH, Dreamyria, Stevensonnet Art, JEGI Design, and Amabelle Lorraine Piñon, who promoted the font alongside Sinulog-inspired illustrations, photos, and other types of media.
“We created this to honor our beloved Santo Niño, who has endured despite everything,” Inu shared. “We want to help strengthen the Sinulog campaign so that it is more enjoyable and full of life.”
The font is available for download here: https://bit.ly/3X6xSNf. You can also try and check out the Sinulog Logo: https://bit.ly/3vLa9WH
Tribox Design’s “Sulog” font is now available on Canva.