Shahade Bradley Tapok: Graphic design as a bridge between a person and their cultural identity

  • Tauira / Student
    Shahade Bradley
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Katie Kerr, George Hajian
Judge's comments:

An absolutely beautiful execution of capturing the spirit of Filipino graphic design.
We loved the typography and colour.


Tapok/Gather is a project that looks into the subject of Filipino graphic design through a collection of interviews, writings, and observations. While the idea of "Filipino graphic design" may seem broad and generalised, the designer is not aiming for a sweeping overview of the topic. Rather, the designer's inspiration for the project came from their desire to gain a deeper understanding of their Filipino culture while using graphic design as a means of facilitating that understanding.
Despite not speaking the Bisaya language, the designer believes that design can act as a form of communication, serving as a medium to converse. Through Tapok, the designer aims to explore the topic of Filipino graphic design from various angles, hoping to address a broader concept in society, particularly in the diaspora, where people may feel disconnected from their sense of belonging.
Approaching the design process from a formal standpoint, the designer embarked on a journey of exploring techniques and methods that harmonized with the overarching themes of gathering. This exploration began with the gathering of images on Google Street View, setting the foundation for their creative exploration. In addition to imagery, the designer also delved into typographic experimentation with the concept of gathering. They brought together letters to form imagery, lines, and shapes. This typographic exploration eventually resulted in a collection of prints within the publication. Weaving and knitting emerged as the designer's chosen mediums to visually convey the metaphor of gathering ideas and themes within the project. As they continued to delve deeper into this exploration, the significance of these techniques became increasingly prominent. The designer soon discovered the emergence of a separate body of work through their weaving endeavours.
The project aims to involve others who share the same sentiments and to create a community that can explore and celebrate their Filipino heritage through the lens of graphic design.
“He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.” – José Rizal