Back story: While watching Disney’s 1967 classic animated feature The Jungle Book with his daughter, Rowland wondered about the charming typeface used for the opening credits. “On closer inspection it became apparent that the type was all hand-lettered,” he says. “I couldn’t find an existing font that was a close match, so I decided to make a face inspired by it. As the design process went on, the letterforms departed from those credits considerably, but I think the black weight maintains the same vibe. I added other weights and italics to make it a more versatile and usable family.”
Why’s it called Eroika? “I like the idea that it’s quite heroic—big and sturdy and unapologetic,” says Rowland. Heroic as a font name was already claimed, so he went for Eroica, the title of Beethoven’s Symphony Number 3—but it’s not a strict homage. “The typeface doesn’t have any connection to the music; I just went with the idea of heroic,” he says. Finding the lowercase k more interesting than the c, Rowland exercised some creative spelling and shifted the name to Eroika.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? It’s wide and chunky with a high x-height plus short ascenders and descenders. Its cap height matches the ascender height, making it look slightly flattened and powerful. Eroika’s flared stems and foot serifs in the italic are unorthodox characteristics for a slab serif, adding to its overall cheerful, assertive quality.
What should I use it for? Eroika shines as a display font—its tight letterspacing is not designed for text. “It could probably work in small chunks with a bit of tracking, but I’d stick to using it as a headline face,” says Rowland. “It’s great as a book titling font, or in logos that require a little oomph; I recently used it to make a logo for my friend’s Muay Thai gym. It would also be really nice to see it come full circle and be used for film credits.”
What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? “For text, I’d try FF Unit Slab, or a generic humanist sans,” Rowland says. “In a logo it’ll pair well with a script font; Delfino Script has an angularity that complements it, but basically any brush script will do nicely. I’m working on a text version of Eroika Slab—in the future, that will be a good choice to pair with it.”