Some early sketch of Valpo…
The distinction between calligraphy and typography is nuanced. While creating the typeface Valpo, I delved into this subtlety, predominantly using a permanent marker. Calligraphy is flexible, enabling it to be expressive as it can adjust to individual situations with a distinctive visual solution. On the other hand, typography demands conformity and a clear, logical set of letterforms to accommodate any letter combination.
The tool used was the Edding 3300.
My design process began with basic sketches using the Edding 3300. The choice of paper proved to be crucial, having a significant impact on the calligraphic style and clarity. Thus, I transitioned from open porous paper to a finer, closed surface paper, yielding sharply defined sketches.
After some weeks of experimentation, my alphabet took shape. The challenge was to translate these vibrant forms into coherent vectors without losing their dynamic essence. My attempts led me to understand that straight lines should be avoided; consequently, the typeface includes only a few straight lines in its design.
Only a handful of straight lines are used in Valpo’s design.
While converting the drawn shapes to vectors, I enhanced the monolinear quality to achieve a more Grotesk feel, resulting in more uniform shapes that began to function as a typeface. Initially, I envisioned the first weight, SemiBold, as a standalone design. However, I quickly realised the design’s inherent robustness, which allowed for a range from Thin to Black, all unified by its monolinear foundation.
A scanned drawing serves as the foundation for digitalisation.
The first draft of Valpo refines and streamlines the drawn shapes.
The final version of Valpo retains the bold character of the marker, while also achieving the uniformity necessary to function as a typeface.
Valpo occupies an interesting position; not strictly a Grotesk font, nor purely calligraphic. The typeface enchants with its warm and unique form language, infusing personality into every lead text or headline.
The process of creating Valpo has been a journey of finding a middle ground between the structured world of typography and the expressive realm of calligraphy. In its curves and strokes, Valpo showcases the potential that lies in merging these two disciplines.
The final typeface is a balanced blend, suggesting that the lines between calligraphy and typography can be bridged to create something new in the ongoing dialogue of type design.
A variable font animation showcases the final version of Valpo