Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Helvetica!

I am a "Font Freak!" I am, you can say, obsessed with fonts and typefaces. So I was intrigued to find out about Helvetica's 50th year celebration. The font Helvetica was originally designed by Swiss designers, Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman. They had another name for it, but it was soon renamed to Helvetica. It derived from the Latin word Helvetia, meaning Switzerland.
I read about this at the Modern Museum of Art in NYC. They had the feature length film running appopriatley named Helvetica. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them. Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day. Do you ever notice how many signs, messages and words that surround us each day?
The above logos are certainly recognizable and clearly written in Helvetica. Some design experts say it's the "Power Font for Power Logos." Because it's accessible and inoffensive, it's appealing to corporations and consumers alike. And others disagree... not everyone is a Helvetica lover. Type "I hate Helvetica" into Google and there are forums for people who rage at the mindless "corporate chic" of this dominant font.

Interesting, none the less. Happy Birthday to something that surrounds us each day, whether we consciously know it or not.