Imagine: Helvetica

Posted on by Matt

I’ve just watched the Imagine documentary about Helvetica on BBC1 in the UK. It was a great documentary about what one could say is the one of the most popular typefaces ever in the history of typography (along with maybe Times New Roman?)

The documentary highlighted the history of the font and how it became to be at the Haas Type foundry some 50 years ago and charted how it became so popular especially in the 60’s and 70’s. It also charted the counter movement against it by some graphic designers at the time.

With the font being used on every street corner has it made the font boring and repetative? Is it a cliche? Can it be improved on? It’s appeal seems to lie in the fact in that its identity is so neutral that it can be used for seemingly anything. But aren’t typefaces meant to provoke an emotion or at least a connection the the message that is being conveyed. Would Helvetica be as popular if it hadn’t been included in the basic font package by the likes of Apple Computers?

Will there ever be a font more popular than Helvetica?

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