Helvetica my love
Although the new Latin name Confederation Helvetica was introduced in 1848 after the formation of the “Swiss” federal state. The typeface Helvetica is probably what comes to mind when the word is said out loud!!
Helvetica is a typeface that over the years became a star. One that has been said “easily rivals Bob Dylan and Coca-Cola” for it is among the most widely used sans-serif typefaces. From American Apparel to BMW via Target, Apple Inc, Lufthansa… Helvetica is a popular choice for commercial wordmarks. NASA even uses the type on the Space Shuttle orbiter.
Helevetica (first named Neue Haas Grotesk) was developed in 1957 by Eduard Hoffmann and Max Miedinger. It was quite a challenging idea to start a new font after the 1943 massive success of a sans serif typeface called Normal Grotesk! Would printing offices invest in a new set of typeface – a substantial investment – equivalent to the price of two Volkswagen Beetles?
Victor Malsy and Lars Müller publishers of the fantastic book “Helvetica forever” summarized it perfectly by stating, “We recognize Helvetica’s success. It is a sensation of the ordinary and a metaphor for the normal…Helvetica will only ever become obsolete the day we succeed in creating a new typeface that embodies every single one of its characteristics and qualities”.
Helevetica not so obsolete after all!