Attaboy.ca

Over There (in the UK)

August 10, 2006 at 12 PM

The Pentagenarian Type

Talk about your font nerds: Helvetica, a documentary film by Gary Hustwit, will premiere in 2007 to celebrate the font’s fiftieth birthday.

For Windows users reading this, that bit of text there is probably in Arial, but Mac users will see Helvetica in its full, if muted, glory. Of course most people don’t really notice Helvetica, because it’s everywhere. Seriously. Look around your kitchen at the ingredient labels on boxes and cans of food. Walk down the street and you’ll see it on signs. It’s on transportation systems around the world. It’s still popular in marketing.

People use Helvetica because it has an extreme neutrality about it. It’s resolutely modern and utterly lacking in ornamentation or pretension. It’s emotionless. Function equals form.

It’s not my favourite typeface, but one could always do worse than Helvetica. Sign me up for the t-shirt.

Comments

I had no idea a font could have such a history… I want to see the documentary now just to find out what could possibly be said about it.

Greg | Aug. 17, 2006 — 11 PM

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