Maragsâ is a display, semi-serif typeface that owes its form to one of the accent marks used as a guide to the correct pronunciation of Filipino words—the pakupyâ accent—whose tapered tips heralded the sharp edges, hastily-flowing strokes, and abrupt cuts in the characters, similar to the manner words with the stress should be spoken.
The term "maragsâ" refers to the way of pronouncing words in Philippine languages when there is a simultaneous occurrence of a stress (diin) and a glottal stop (impit) in the last syllable. It is represented by attaching a circumflex or "pakupyâ" mark on the final vowel of the word.
Writing with diacritical marks is rarely observed in everyday life in the Philippines, so understanding certain Filipino words relies heavily on context. However, keep in mind that the simple addition of accent marks can change the meaning of a word entirely.
One of the perks of growing up in the Visayas is being able to understand a variety of regional vernaculars along with the national language Filipino, which is largely based on the tongue of the Tagalog people in Luzon. I wanted this project to be inclusive and showcase the beauty of other local languages as well through accented glyphs.
Building this project has caused me to unearth memories of fleeting moments, frozen in snapshots that have been piling up in my phone, like a moving vehicle being stopped by its brakes, like the pakupyâ concluding the delivery of a word with an impit.
From simply being a typography enthusiast, to crafting my first-ever font, this type specimen has become more of a diary, a learning experience that I enjoyed and intend to cherish. The same way I had fun producing this raw typeface, I hope that you'll also grow to love using Maragsâ on your next project. —Jad