Helvetica – the typeface

Helvetica – Helvetia

Swiss make commodities are usually one of the best in class. Especially, all watch manufacturers from Switzerland have rolled out brilliant timepieces, which have always held a live-cycle value. Every second that the hand ticks, seems to be accurate with much precision that makes the liveable time precious. However, the irony is, every product faces physical depreciation eventually, which is very obvious and natural. Nevertheless, in contrast to wearing off of elements, one Swiss made product has actually stood the test of time. HELVETICA – the typeface.

The typeface:

Max MiedingerNeue Haas Grotesk (New Haas Grotesque), was its inventive name & later that was christened into Helvetica, which in Latin is similar to Swiss.

Helvetica is a sans-serif font developed in 1957 by a Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger with guidance from Eduard Hoffmann. I am astound to realise that Miedinger was such a visionary, that his creation gained global grandeur almost immediately after it came into the market! This typeface was an inspiration from renowned Akzidenz-Grotesk and other German and Swiss typograhpy designs. Helvetica is an unusual typeface that comes without strokes on vertical and horizontal lines of a font, and also its appearance is much compact compared to the others. In due course, considering different weights, widths, sizes, an extensive series of variants for Helvetica has been designed and developed.

Rise of Helvetica:

Over the years, the extensive use of Helvetica became the hallmark of International Typographic Style and had been one of most predominant letterings of the 20th century.

Innumerable companies have used Helvetica as their logo font styles. To name a few:

  1. Agfa
  2. American Airlines
  3. American Apparel
  4. BASF
  5. BMW
  6. Baskin & Robbins
  7. Blaupunkt
  8. British Gas
  9. Burger King
  10. Caterpillar
  11. Crate & Barrel
  12. Dole
  13. Ducati
  14. Energizer
  15. Epson
  16. FENDI
  17. GM
  18. Havells
  19. Harley – Davidson
  20. Hitachi
  21. JC Penney
  22. Jeep
  23. Kawasaki
  24. Knoll
  25. LG
  26. Lufthansa
  27. M&S
  28. Mc Donalds
  29. Microsoft
  30. Motorola
  31. Muji
  32. NARS
  33. NASA
  34. Nestle
  35. Oral-B
  36. Panasonic
  37. Paramount Pictures
  38. The North Face
  39. Scotch
  40. 3M
  41. SAAB
  42. Sanyo
  43. Skype
  44. Standard Chartered
  45. Staples
  46. Subway
  47. Suzuki
  48. Target
  49. Toyota
  50. Tupperware
  51. Verizon
  52. WhatsApp
  53. World Trade Center
  54. Yahoo

Helvetica for the Government:

From transportation to stationeries, this sans-serif font has become a shape of lettering that we love.

Major government bodies have used Helvetica for their foremost undertakings, viz.:

  • British Railway System,
  • British Airport Authority,
  • Canadian government’s corporate identity program,
  • Madrid Metro,
  • NASA Space Shuttle orbiter,
  • New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA),
  • Philadelphia’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA),
  • US government’s federal income tax forms,
  • US television rating system,
  • Washington Metro, the Chicago ‘L’.

Helvetica in Media & Communication:

Helvetica is a modern typeface and its usage goes beyond logo design. The profile of Helvetica is such that it forms an identity itself, thus providing a robust image to an entity who prefers using this typeface for its media and communication, also, viz:

  • BMW has Helvetica for its brand font.
  • CDE Global Ltd. has chosen Helvetica Neue as its brand font.
  • Glasgow Caledonian University’s scholarship application dashboard portal content is done using Helvetica.
  • Istituto Marangoni uses Helvetica in its communication collateral.

And many more to say…

For the Love of Helvetica:

  • Gary Hustwit filmed a design trilogy that started with Helvetica as the first documentary of the series.
    Mention of the typeface – Helvetica was intended to hold high the importance of lettering, graphic design and universal visual culture.
    Numerous marvellous merchandise were also developed for promoting this documentary.
  • Mondaine Swiss Watch Company has an edition called Mondaine Helvetica, which caters four variations of wrist watches with names of Helvetica No 1 light, Helvetica No 1 regular, Helvetica No 1 bold & Helvetica 1 Smartwatch.
  • Travel Mugs, T-Shirt & other stationaries have come into existence after Helvetica surfaced.

Watch Helvetica for realising the significance of this typeface.

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