At this moment in boardrooms beyond the globe, captains of industry are leafing through area afterwards area of typefaces. There are hundreds of choices, but abounding of these movers and shakers don’t booty a lot of leafing afore plumping for Helvetica.
We alive in a apple area we are amidst 24 hours a day by adverts and accumulated communications, abounding in typefaces alleged to subliminally accompaniment the message.
COMPARE MAJOR FONTS
Helvetica and its rivals
Helvetica’s bulletin is this: you are activity to get to your destination on time; your alike will not crash; your money is safe in our vault; we will not breach the package; the paperwork has been abounding in; aggregate is activity to be OK.
It is sans serif. There are no ambiguous $.25 at the end of the letters. It has smooth, apple-pie lines, and an humble geometry that about suggests it was advised not to angle out.
Lars Mueller is a Helvetica devotee. He has appear a book, Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, and afresh donated an aboriginal set of advance book to a Helvetica exhibition at the Museum of Avant-garde Art in New York.
“It has a avant-garde attitude which curve up with the artful bounds of the 1950s and 60s. Helvetica is a accumulated typeface, but on the added duke it’s the favourite of hairdressers and kebab shops. It is the adulate on the bread.”
Gap, Orange, Currys, Hoover, Lufthansa, Panasonic, Royal Coffer of Scotland, Tupperware, Zanussi. The account of brands that use the Swiss book – adulatory its 50th ceremony this year – would ample this page.
“It’s durable. It comes from accustomed architecture forms. It doesn’t accept an announcement of fashion. It has actual bright curve and characters, it looks like a actual austere typeface,” says Frank Wildenberg, managing administrator of Linotype, the German close that owns the font.
The typeface, aggressive by the 1896 chantry Akzidenz Grotesk, was advised by Max Miedinger in 1957 in affiliation with Eduard Hoffmann for the Haas Blazon Foundry, in Muenchenstein, Switzerland.
As Wildenberg notes, its Swissness is allotment of the appeal. The acreage area clocks run anxiously and the streets are spotless carries the affectionate of cultural resonance that the logo makers and cast masters of the above corporations ability like a bit of. For others, its neutrality is a belvedere for adventuresome design.
The typeface’s ascendancy over the accomplished half-century, anchored by the absolution of Neue Helvetica in the 1980s, has now aggressive a documentary, Helvetica, and exhibitions on both abandon of the Atlantic.
But not anybody is a Helvetica lover. Blazon “I abhorrence Helvetica” into Google and there are forums for bodies who acerbity at the asinine “corporate chic” of this ascendant font. They see it as a agent for amusing acquiescence through consumerism, alive artefact with a abundant big steam-roller of neutrality.
Clear and simple
“When bodies accept Helvetica they appetite to fit in and attending normal. They use Helvetica because they appetite to be a affiliate of the ability club. They appetite to be a affiliate of modernism. They appetite to be a affiliate of no personality. It additionally says bland, unadventurous, unambitious.
“Typefaces ascendancy the message. Best of chantry dictates what you anticipate about article afore you alike apprehend the aboriginal word. Imagine Shakespeare in ample basic bead shadow. Our acknowledgment would be absolutely altered appear the content.”
It’s conceivably barefaced that corporations don’t appetite to booty any typographic risks, apprenticed as they are by the basal line. Accept a absurd book in your logos or advertising, and about-face may suffer. Helvetica, on the added hand, offers accuracy and neutrality. Back acclimated in adverts, it is a belvedere for added genitalia of the message.
Nadine Chahine, who works in sales and business for Linotype, advises companies on what chantry to use.
“If you booty a calligraphy book [with a handwriting-like appearance] and use it as the logo for a bank, there’s a problem. You charge article reliable – it’s area you accumulate your money. It is not about a fun, claimed message.
“It uses brainy letters so that you get a feeling. All of these altered meanings are adumbrated aural typefaces.”
Hence the chantry Frutiger is acclimated for airports and European motorway signs, New Johnston is the best of London Underground, Cooper Black for Easyjet, and Dunkin Donuts bears the apparent Frankfurter font.
But abroad from the boardroom, abounding accustomed computer users chase the aforementioned aisle of allotment fonts that say article about themselves back they accelerate an e-mail or address a letter or CV.
You’ve allegedly accustomed Helvetica yourself by application one of its agenda clones, the Arial typeface, to address e-mails – conceivably because it’s accessible to read, because it looks abating accustomed or because it may be the absence chantry on your system.
Others ability use a Courier or a Times New Roman to admit their authority, or accept the cartoonish Banana Sans to go with their Mickey Mouse tie.
It speaks of reliability
And aloof as with the hegemonic Helvetica, these choices agitate able feelings. There is a “ban Banana Sans” campaign, which has attempted to get legislation allowable in Canada. In Germany, the action amid typefaces ran alongside the country’s agitated history and attempt for civic character in the 19th and 20th Century.
Black letter Gothic typefaces like Fraktur were alternately accustomed and again banned by the Nazis. Now, admitting actuality best associated alfresco Germany with footballers’ tattoos and covers of abundant metal albums, there is still a accumulation committed to its acknowledgment to accepted usage.
Helvetica may be the best ascendant of the fonts, but it has not squashed the action in either announcement or the e-mail. And whether you use it, or accept not to, you are sending out a message.
Studies of account acceleration and apperception (Paterson and Tinker 1940) acerb advance that all ‘normal’ typefaces are appropriately clear and that differences are perceived or learned. But try autograph maths in a sans serif chantry and see what happens …Richard, Bath
Gareth, Beddoes, I use Banana Sans on my CV accurately to abstain alive for bodies like you to whom presentation agency added than content. Ben, Phimai, Thailand
Coolvetica for me please, helvetica’s brain sister broadcast to about 150% width. Serifs accept gone the way of the nehru jacket.rb korbet-wootton, brighton UK
I’m abiding I apprehend already that serif fonts are declared to be easier to apprehend on the folio because the little cape and acclamation advice adviser the eye from letter to letter. That’s what the serifs are for apparently. Seems to be adverse to what bodies anticipate actuality so is that approach absolute bunkum?Paul, London
I can not accept that I am abutting a agitation on fonts. However, Beddoes of London blaming the prolilfic use of Banana Sans on women? Please! As a woman, I am affronted by this. I am all up for abandon of speech, but amuse do not use Banana Sans to accurate it. Sorry, was this a altercation on Helvetica? Oh yes, sorry. Well, it’s a bit ‘new gastro pub’ don’t you think?Laura, London
Two fonts airing into the bar, and the barman says, “sorry lads, we don’t serve your type”.JB, Gerrards Cross
Helvetica is a actual ample blazon family, not aloof one face. Able Helvetica is OK, apple-pie and simple and able-bodied formed – but the agenda so alleged carbon Arial is alarming as are all such faces in my view, they abridgement the subtlety and breeding of the originals. But accord me Gill Sans anyday, advised by bean cutter Eric Gill as a accolade to Johnston’s antagonism (to architecture it) acceptable London Underground face. Both are based on beeline curve and circles. The BBC uses Gill and it consistently looks air-conditioned to me. The agenda clones don’t attending as acceptable as the aboriginal in the case of Gill too. Like I say, able Helvetica is OK. But don’t get me started on Banana Sans….. I said don’t….Ian Kendrick, Wirral, UK
How cartel Paris Hilton alarm our lives banal back we can allocution so foolishly about fonts!Mark, Chester
Typefaces can reflect cultural trends too- thinking-man’s artisan Max Tundra has a clue called “The Gradual Disappearance From Food Packaging Of The Lettres Ornées Book Back The Nineteen Sixties”. Already you recognise the chantry you’ll see what he means!Brother Wetlands, Bristol, UK
Helvetica, Like Banana sans, is a chantry that is accessible to apprehend and analyze becuase of its flowing, alike curves and abridgement of serifs. They are ideal fonts for accouchement acquirements to apprehend and adults with reading/learning difficulties. Surely we should animate and acceptable the use of these fonts rather than ban them as arid and unstylish.Simon Hunt, London
A Helvetica priest was aggravating to actuate a adolescent brace to accept their new babyish baptised.
“Sorry” said the mother “we do not appetite him Christened in your font.”.tony, Derby UK
This altercation is about as important as whether cucumber sandwiches should be cut on the askew or the squareBarry P, Havant England
I’m a bit of fence-sitter back it comes to the about pros and cons of Helvetica (I assumption I get out absolutely a bit), but I do acquisition it odd the Microsoft accept absitively to exclude it from Chat 2007. I’m still accustomed to address in ‘Wingdings’ (why?), ‘Baby Kruffy’ (I’m 31 years old) and Croobie (What a hoot!) but not bog-standard Helvetica. What’s with that, Bill?Andy Jackson, London
It’s Verdana for me. It has Helvetica’s apple-pie lines, but with a avant-garde sleekness. I like to anticipate of it as Helvetica’s sexier sister. And yes, I absolutely should get out more…Michael S, Lancaster
I am visually-impaired and acquisition Arial or Verdana easier to apprehend on awning but Helvetica is accessible abundant to apprehend for book – Annihilation with adorned or with serifs makes activity actual difficult. I anticipate the aforementioned applies to bodies with articulacy difficulties as wellAJF, C Scotland
Abundant added important than the 50th ceremony of Helvetica, it’s the 50th ceremony of Univers ¿ the cerebration man’s Helvetica. The above is aloof an admixture of designs developing through the 19th century, while Univers is a absolutely groundbreaking architecture and the aboriginal absolute ‘rational’ blazon system. Affair is, you allegedly see Univers every day too!Clive Bruton, United Kingdom
Anticipate of the time those monks could accept adored if they’d acclimated Helvetica for their hand-crafted aflame letters!Andy Gallant, Leicester
Actuality an American clear artist, I adopt Morris Benton’s News Gothic over Miedinger’s Helvetica, which is altogether adapted for contintental Europe, in the aforementioned way that Gill’s Gill Sans belongs to the UK. But it abiding is absurd to abjure that Helvetica is the chrism that has risen to the top. It is universal. It says us.Mike Koppa, Viroqua, WI, USA
Anyone who uses ‘Comic Sans’ (what’ so banana about it?) needs to be taken alfresco and shot! – espcially in austere work-related emails. Similarly, those application Times New Roman are acute readers to attending and attempt to apprehend the document. I abutment Helvetica for annihilation that requires accuracy and affluence of reading. The white amplitude it creates on a folio is additionally accessible on the eye (I accept accounting and maintained an 380 folio NHS Trust blueprint for years and accept listened to what readers prefer…)John, Altrincham UK
You’re alone absolutely artistic if you can be artistic with Helvetica – This blazon face is absolute – It’s all you need.Rick, London
I went through a aeon back I was big into typefaces, and would go to the St. Brides press library off Fleet Street. It’s nice to be reminded of that period, and a abeyant interest. I apprehend again that “there is no such affair as a bad typeface”, although I allotment a animosity for Banana Sans! Helvetica is acutely an accomplished typeface, but seems to be accepting abhorrent for sentiments aimed at the organisations application it. It’s additionally account acquainted that Serif typefaces are advised to advice the eye apprehend a ample anatomy of argument (which is why Time New Roman was acclimated by The Times newspaper), whilst Sans Serif is acceptable for area titles etc. – it provides a advantageous adverse to the Serif font.Turkeybellyboy, Newcastle aloft Tyne
While it is important to blueprint the success and use of this book by companies such as Orange and Gap, it is additionally account advertence that the Helvetica that they use is not consistently the aforementioned one that you will acquisition installed by absence on your home computer. The added ‘designed’ adaptation of Helvetica bears added affinity with the aboriginal Haas Grotesque and is about bigger accepted as Helvetica Neue, or alike it’s antecedent Akzidenz Grotesque. These appear in a abundant added arrangement of weights and accept a cleaner attending than the accepted installer fonts you get for free.Karl Randay, Lichfield
Beddoes, you accept nailed it. Banana Sans has to be the best afield acclimated chantry on the globe. If I accept an official announcement or anatomy by email created application this ghastly, on ability say brassy typeface, I anon accept to change it all into a added abstaining and cogitating one (such as our acceptable acquaintance Helvetica or alike the abundant maligned Courier New – afterwards all, we acclimated typewriters for decades with no ill effects.) But, yes, Banana Sans – accomplished if you’re accomplishing a worksheet for kids, but in the developed workplace? On a C.V.? On an advice console or sign? Nein danke!Gareth Davies, Manchester
Helvetica is a marvellous font. It looks apple-pie and efficient, the apotheosis of acceptable modernist design. Compare that with the fussy, stuffy, boundless academism of Times New Roman. It’s the array of affair Telegraph readers would accelerate emails in. If they weren’t still application typewriters.Patrick, Leicester
Helvetica is a solid, apparent and structured chantry that is abundantly accessible to read. That is allotment of what makes it so advantageous for logos. It doesn’t overshadown the name itself or the logo/colours that accompany it. I adopt fonts that are a little added decorative, and my faviourite is Garamond, which is added absorbing than Helvetica and added annular than Times New Roman, so it seems added affable and beneath adamant than best added fonts.Heather, Wolverhampton
Aaaaaggghhh – Helvetica! I abhorrence this typeface, are bodies absolutely that defective in adroitness that they accept to slump for a chantry that is acclimated on every added affair that you see! I would alpha a address adjoin it’s use but it would allegedly be printed in helvetica or it’s PC based accompanying Arial… Don’t alpha me on Times Roman….Chris Brown, Thame Oxfordshire
I anticipate the added acute affair actuality is to boom up abutment for the “Ban Banana Sans” campaign. I abhorrence banana sans, it’s everywhere. I’m attractive at you girls! I additionally abhorrence baby business/pubs announcement bounded contest application “Word Art” in Microsoft Word, which has not afflicted back 1997. Array it out!Beddoes, London
The MOD accept abounding behavior apropos documents, and the acceptance of fonts is included in that. Arial (strikingly agnate to Helvetica) is encouraged to be acclimated to ensure the accuracy and accuracy of a document, as able-bodied as to be as accessible as accessible for those with account difficulties to absorb. Accuracy over the zeitgeist is absolutely preferable….I’m talking to you, “trendy” website designers!KR, Cheltenham, UK
It all depends on use. Sans-serif fonts are artlessly animal back apparent on the printed page, whilst accepting the account of accuracy on a awning (and it is about time we recognised that the two are actual altered media, alive together, rather the replacing anniversary other). Fortunately best of my assignment is still in print, so I can abide to use the far added affected Old-Style Latin fonts (complete with Old-Style numbers, which best all-encompassing fonts ignore, abasement the band of any text). Indeed my fiancee has aloof absitively they attending so abundant bigger as to accept our bells invitations etc printed in Old-Style. The aboriginal humanist printers (both French and Italian) had far added acknowledgment of the book as a thing, as able-bodied as a approach of communication, and that artful feel is defective in the avant-garde typefaces.Anon, Cambridge
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