Version 1.0 of Perlas Display
Language: Latin

The name of this typeface is “Perlas,” which is the Tagalog word for pearl. The word is derived from the Spanish language, which was implemented into the Filipino language by the way of colonization. The Philippines used to be referred to as “the Pearl of the Orient,” by Americans during the start of their occupation in the Philippines in the early 1900s. In addition, the Philippines is also known for their South Sea pearls, one of which my mother gifted me during her recent trip to the Philippines. Ultimately, these characteristics informed the name, “Perlas.”

This serif typeface references the elegance and high contrast characteristics of Didot and Bodoni. I was inspired to make a typeface that resembles and relates to traditional understandings of beauty, but I wanted to add my own twist. This typeface is inspired by my winged eyeliner, as well as ornamental Filipino decoration.

Perlas is a cross-cultural display typeface that celebrates female Filipino identity in a world that glorifies Eurocentric beauty. Most importantly, this typeface raises the question, “What would it mean to make a Latin typeface inspired by non-white (Filipino) identity, and titled with a Spanish word?”

Perlas is an act of cultural storytelling, a celebration of identity, and a critique of history.