Epic. Magical. Lionhearted.
The Battle of the m
Valiant in Action
2011 Anderson, SC Published by Julie Laxton Valiant Created by Julie Laxton 1
Valiant is the latest display header typeface for heroic fantasy fiction books and movie posters. The inspiration for Valiant came from analyzing covers of fantasy and adventure novels such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Hood, The Princess Bride, etc. I wanted to create a typeface that could be used for epic novels and movies, so I searched for typefaces that are already in use today. Today, Carol Twomblyâ€™s Trajan is
the most common typeface used for the fiction genre, however it is growing old and worn out. Trajan is only majuscules and a large amount of novels use all majuscules for their covers, but Valiant changes things up by adding minuscules. I used Requiem by Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Trajan as helpful examples and created my own x-height and cap height. The sharp serifs, the consistency and the movement through the letters are what make it so successful.
Consistency in shape
I had several objectives in mind while creating Valiant. From the beginning, I wanted the letters to have sharp serifs. I decided the best way create a typeface for heroic fiction would be to give a sharpness to the letters, making them almost sword-like. Even the letters without serifs (like the minuscule s, c, and e) have sharp terminals.
Another goal I had was to maintain consistency throughout the characters. Keeping the letters consistent was easier than I expected. For example, I started with the minuscule â€œaâ€? and was then able to create b, d, p, q, and g. As another example, I based the majuscule C, D, and G off of the O. The consistency of the characters is what keeps Valiant unified.
The Problem Originally, I based the miniscule m, n, and u off of the minuscule h. The n and the u looked decent, but the m was too broadâ€” more so than the majuscule M. I knew I needed to make the m more condensed, however I was not sure of how I could keep it consistent with the other characters. If I made the m smaller how would it match the h and n?
The Solution In order to make the m tighter and consistent with the other characters I chose to base it off of the minuscule r. After I fixed the m, I liked it so much that I reformed the h, n, and u to match it. So, not only did I repair the m, but also the other identical minuscules to make Valiant more uniform.
The Complete Set
Valiant in Action