Friday, April 24, 2009

City Slicker

Finally, after all the teasing, it's time to put out...

In an effort to stylize the Filipino script of Baybayin while expressing my American upbringing, I needed to focus on the form of the Baybayin characters and translate them to something I can identify with.  It wasn't just enough to simply write an English word into Baybayin, because the esoteric form of the Baybayin characters simply isn't identifiable to a large mass audience.  Taking from communication design aspects, the concept became apparent: to create an identifiable image using the Baybayin characters.

Combining calligraphy, graffiti handstyling, typography techniques and letter theory, I’ve been able to translate the Baybayin characters into English-like letter forms, while still retaining most of the distinguishing key elements of their Baybayin forms.  Spelling out city names, the cities highlighted are home to a high population of Filipinos, and I felt that this would help represent Filipino Americans in two ways: the bold imagery of the uniquely Filipino script of Baybayin, and the pride of city-claiming, popular among American youths.  This first series concentrates on a few California cities, but will eventually include more American cities as well as other countries aside from the Philippines.

Finally, I am pleased present to you all, the Baybayin City Series - California

Baybayin City Series: SF

Baybayin City Series: Oakland

Baybayin City Series: LA

Baybayin City Series: SD

The Baybayin characters spell out the city name phonetically (or a translation thereof), for example, the San Francisco Baybayin characters read “San Pdansesko” and Los Angeles characters read "Los Ang-he-les".  Each city piece was a puzzle, trying to figure out how to form these characters into English letters while still retaining the unique traits of each character. I attribute much of my character understanding to my old graffiti days when understanding letter formation theory was a necessity to express your style... among other things.


Have a great weekend, and stay up.


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