The idea for the typeface Villanelle came first from my desire to create a typeface for an audience I know well, being one myself: brand designers. And really, if we wanted to get specific, a typeface for… me. What typeface would I want to use on a dream client project? Something delicate, refined, and editorial. Something with restrained flair.
But I needed a more defined North Star to give my vision a proper foothold. As I thought about what could help guide me toward a typeface with the elements I envisioned, the character Villanelle from Killing Eve came to mind.
A skilled assassin living in a world of luxury, she is surrounded by an aura of intrigue and mystery, as the protagonist, Eve follows her trail.
Elegant, sophisticated, and alluring, yet dangerous. Like a rose.
My typeface aims to visually translates this delicate tension.
The pointed flare serifs and terminals give a slashed, violent quality, while the curves and joints (or lack thereof) in the round shapes evoke her graceful and poised demeanor. Both subtle, they come together to create a harmonious but nuanced balance. The occasional swash-y glyph reflects Villianelle’s artistic flair and luxurious lifestyle.
While the whole family brings in together the Villanelle personality, the italics provided an opportunity to push the elements further. Slanted at a steep 23 degrees, the violent-slashed quality became much more prominent, meaning more swashes would also be appropriate.
The Italic glyph set is currently incomplete, but I plan to bring her into the world soon, full of all the delectable danger of her namesake.
And as for whether or not I created the brand-designer’s typeface that I aimed to, I’ll just have to start using it on some projects to see!
The 6-week type design programme that you’ve been waiting for starts on 6 June and ends 13 July 2023.