Valentin_portraitVALENTIN was inspired by the work of Valentin Haüy (pictured), creator of the first books for the blind. His comprehensive plan, as outlined in Essay on the Education of the Blind, included instruction in both reading raised print and writing longhand with an iron stylus to create indentations; for this dual purpose a cursive style was used. Blind people would learn print their own books and Haüy envisioned the eventual inclusion of other faces similar to conventional type.

Valentin_pageAlthough it may now seem a complicated design for first teaching the blind to read, it’s also a beautiful but rather eccentric version of what is called a vertical French script. Haüy’s ambitious plans called for maps, arithmetic, and musical notation using his system. But it would be left to Louis Braille to simplify the alphabet down to the grid of dots that eclipsed all preceding systems of printing in relief. For more on Haüy and Braille’s work, follow the links.

Working from a facsimile of the copy of l’Essai sur l’éducation des aveugles presented to Louis XVI on Christmas 1786 (which includes a nearly complete character set) I completely redrew the font. I kept the basic form of the letters while smoothing, regularizing, and re-spacing them for better legibility by eye. Also works well italicized for more of a script feel.

Includes upper and lowercase, old-style numbers, punctuation, and international characters.