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Why Helvetica is the world’s most popular font 🇨🇭

If there was a VIP of typefaces, it would be Helvetica.

But why is Helvetica so popular? Created in the 1950s by Swiss typographer Max Miedinger, Helvetica has a worldwide presence. Helvetica is named after the Latin name for Switzerland and is popular among designers for its clean, bold, and modern look.

Here is how the managing director of Linotype, the German firm that owns the rights to the typeface, describes Helvetica. Frank Wildenberg: "It's durable. It comes from natural design forms. It doesn’t have an expression of fashion. It has very clear lines and characters, it looks like a very serious typeface."

For all typography geeks, here are some great examples featuring the Helvetica font:

The signage for the New York City subway system is entirely using the Helvetica type:

Helvetica Font on New York City Subway Sign - Copyright Antonio Gravante/
Copyright Antonio Gravante/

It is a long story, but MTA chose Helvetica in the first place to unify their different train operations, which were using several different fonts at the time.

Additionally, Helvetica served as the perfect choice for their signage concept, as its properties supported the aim to create signs that could be quickly read and easily understood by riders.

Look around you and you will find lots of examples of where the simplicity of the Helvetica font has been used to facilitate people's lives:

Helvetica Font at Emergency Entrance

Countless companies use the Helvetica font for its sleekness and timelessness, and as a way to convey their brand message:

Famous Brand Logos using Helvetica Font

This poster totally proves a point:

Copyright rodoabad/DeviantArt

The poster of the popular TV show MAD MEN uses a typeface close to Helvetica Neue Heavy:

How about this adorable Helvetica onesie for your baby?

Helvetica Onesie for Baby

There is quite a difference between the Helvetica typeface and the Arial typeface...

The devil is in the detail. Check out this helpful design guide to learn how to spot the difference!

Copyright Webdesigner Depot

Can you tell Helvetica and Arial apart? Take the quiz to find out!

Arial vs Helvetica Quiz

More information about the Helvetica font face

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


Dimitri Burkhard

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