YOUNG Cebuano artist Diane Therese Diana translates her heritage into typography with “Bisdak,” a typeface inspired by the bold personality of the Bisaya.
Created by Diane last year, “Bisdak” is an uppercase typeface designed for display texts like titles and headings (rather than long body texts). The name of the typeface itself is inspired by all the people who grew up “Bisayang dako” or “Bisdak.”
Her knack for typography started at a young age. During her elementary years, she would try to copy other people’s handwriting. Eventually, she moved on to replicating fonts by hand. It wasn’t until college, at a seminar featuring a guest speaker who had a career in typography, when she realized that turning her long-time hobby into a full-fledged profession could be a real possibility.
Whether it’s a typeface or an illustration, Diane draws inspiration for her art everywhere, although she is inspired heavily by her own experiences and feelings, as well as current events. The idea for “Bisdak,” for instance, came from her daily commutes; the ink traps — the tiny spaces in printed letters to prevent ink spillage — reminded her of the “eskinitas” she and her friends would pass through on their city jaunts.
“The general structure of the typeface comes from the strong delivery of the Cebuano language. There were people who told me that when Cebuanos speak, we sound like we’re always mad, or when we speak other languages like Tagalog or English, some people would label our accents as ‘gahi’ because we are ‘Bisdak.’ So I tried my best to embody that feeling or that sound when we speak in this typeface,” she shared.
“Bisdak” is a personal favorite of Diane, not just for the recognition it garnered, but because of how personal it is and how much time and effort she put into it.
“It’s probably the longest one I’ve worked on. I didn’t even really expect any recognition from it. It was just fun making it. It was definitely a learning experience as well.” This is also the first ever typeface Diane created.
Her long-term goal as an artist is to teach art and design and make them available for all, even for people from far-flung regions. “I think it would be nice to preserve knowledge in design by teaching people like kids, for example, early on and give them early access to the world of art and design.”
Currently working on getting her degree in product design, Diane is determined to stay in Cebu and continue to hone her craft and build her career — she is just getting started after all.
“Cebu’s design community is growing really fast and I want to stay here to see it expand even more and be part of it all.”
The “Bisdak” typeface by Diane Diana (@dieanedieana on Instagram) is available to download for free on her Behance page. S