MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In time for National Heritage Month, Tribox Design released its new typeface which takes after one of the most important documents in Philippine history. Named “TD Makata,” the typeface is based on the font used in the book “Doctrina Christiana,” the first book printed in the Philippines.
Designed with the influence of the intersection between Romanized and Baybayin script, TD Makata subtly uses stem curves and short-tail angles to improve text readability even in small sizes.
“Team Tribox Design created the font to improve the old font print of Doctrina Christiana. Initially, we were unsure if we could create this type of font since we were accustomed to designing sans serif, modern, flat, and grotesque typefaces,” said Tribox Design Creative Director Inu Catapusan.
But after an extensive research on the writing system during the pre-Hispanic period, the team came up with a typeface that puts the tradition, language, and culture of the Filipinos in mind.
“Each letter is designed for better readability even in small sizes, particularly for books, and is designed for poets, writers, and anyone who needs a font used in publishing,” he added.
The font name also shows the team’s affinity for words, letters, calligraphy, and poems; and pays homage to Filipino poets and littérateurs such as Francisco Balagtas and Vicente Ranudo.
“Given that this personal project is for National Heritage Month, we chose the name ‘Makatà’. ‘Makatà‘ is a Tagalog word that means ‘poet,'” explained Inu.
Currently, Inu hopes that TD Makata can help explore the new publishing possibilities of Philippine poetry. Especially with the emphasis on each letter’s kerning, or the the spacing between each character. This also solves the challenge of local books’ text with no proper spacing and hence, its visual difficulty to read.
TD Makata is now available for download here and is in the works to be in Canva.