Created in the 1950's by Swiss typographer Max Miedinger, Helvetica now has a worldwide presence and is somewhat of a VIP of fonts. Helvetica is named after the Latin name for Switzerland and is popular among designers for its clean, bold and modern look.
Being quite the typography geek, I wanted to share some popular examples featuring the Helvetica font:
“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,” says Frank Wildenberg, managing director of Linotype, the German firm that owns the font.
The signage for the New York City subway system is entirely using the Helvetica type:
It is a long story, but MTA chose Helvetica in the first place as a way of unifying 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:
Many companies have picked the Helvetica font for its sleekness and timelessness, and as a way to convey their brand message:
Here is a cool poster which totally proves a point:
The font used in the poster for the popular TV series MAD MEN is close to Helvetica Neue Heavy:
Inspired by swissmiss, an adorable Helvetica onesie for your baby:
But the devil is in the detail: There is actually quite a difference between the Helvetica and the Arial font...
Check out this helpful design guide to learn how to spot the difference!
So, do you think you can tell Helvetica and Arial apart? Take the quiz to find out!