These Revolution-Inspired Fonts Pay Tribute to Journalism and Free Press
“When our voices can’t be heard, we turn to ink and paper.” That’s the thrust of Freedom Fonts.
The series of contemporary Filipino fonts, designed by IdeasXMachina: A Member of Hakuhodo Philippines (IXM), takes inspiration from none other than the Philippine Revolution. In an attempt to address the increasingly unstable political climate of the country, the IXM team endeavored to give the people a tool to express their opinions in the face of attempts to suppress freedom of speech and expression.
“The goal of this project is to reinforce the importance of that right for the media, the press, and the larger Filipino public, especially today [when] free speech is suppressed by the fear of prosecution—whether online or offline—which in turn deprives us of information,” explains Jo Aguilar, head of the IXM team behind Freedom Fonts.
The power of the written word has always been recognized, but how a message is delivered is just as important as the message itself. In the world of design, a font is a device that “defines the spirit and character” of a message, according to Aguilar. One could argue that fonts can also be considered art as Freedom Fonts was created with the intention of helping people express their support for a noble cause in hopes of leaving an impact.
Throughout the centuries of the Filipinos' struggle against oppression, resistance has always been amplified through art in order to reach a level of empathy and consciousness that can trigger true action. Just look at Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and Juan Luna’s "Spolarium." “With fonts, we’ve combined both literary and visual artistry. But no matter what medium, art has and will continue to play a huge role in any movement or revolution,” explains Aguilar.
As the country’s political landscape gets crazier by the minute, it’s becoming even more important for those in the creative field to give their two cents. “Visual artists can amplify a message with gripping design, kind of like how a melody adds recall value to song lyrics,” says Aguilar. “It is these talented people who can really drive home a point, gather like-minded individuals, and start a movement.”
The four fonts that make up the series are aptly named Kalayaan, Katipunan, Kagitingan, and Kapayapaan—all of which pay homage to the pivotal revolutionary newspapers Kalayaan, La Solidaridad, La Independencia, and The Renacimiento Filipino. Through the newspapers from which Freedom Fonts draws its inspiration, the fonts themselves are symbolic of the strength and resilience of the Filipino people in the face of oppression—particularly the journalists who are tasked with upholding the people’s pursuit for truth and democracy.
Executed through design and rooted in resistance, Freedom Fonts is, at its core, an ode to journalism and the journalists of past and present.
”We have journalists and reporters that take on many risks in order to provide the public of necessary information and these typefaces are symbols of their bravery, sacrifice, struggle, and triumph,” says Aguilar. “These fonts seek to remind us to always protect and fight for the rights of all Filipino citizens, whether in the journalism industry or not.”
Download Freedom Fonts for free here.