30 May 2007

The font that ate a planet

It might have skipped your notice, or not, but this year is the anniversary of a typeface. The typeface, actually. It is fifty years since the birth of Helvetica.

Designed by Max Miedinger in 1957, it has become easily the most ubiquitous form of type of any kind in the world. Originally it was called 'Neue Haas Grotesk', but the name was thought to be too foreign and cumbersome by the parent company, the Haas type foundry, and was changed to the latin name for Switzerland in 1960.

There's an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. There's a nice slide article from Slate, demonstrating its world wide ubiquity, and now, there is a film.

I'm told that the movie features many of the living legends of graphic design all expanding on why they hate it so much. Can't wait.

This is the official film poster:

But I much prefer David Carson's characteristic attempt:

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