Monday, May 28, 2007

Helvetica: the Official Font of the 20th Century

A "Slide Show Essay" presented by Mia Fineman for Slate -- though you will quickly notice the writer's near total dependence on Wikipedia for photo sources (much like this post itself). Take that, Getty Corbis people! From the essay:

It's been used in countless corporate logos, including those of American Airlines, Sears, Target, Toyota, BMW, Tupperware, Nestlé, ConEd, Verizon, North Face, Staples, Panasonic, Evian, Crate and Barrel, and the Gap. You can spot it on billboards, album covers, and directional signs, including all the signage in the New York City subway system. Even the IRS uses Helvetica for its income tax forms.

Now, the typeface is the subject of a small exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art centering around an original set of Helvetica lead type donated to the museum by Lars Müller, designer and publisher of the 2005 book Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface. And a new feature-length documentary, Helvetica (2007), directed by Gary Hustwit, has been playing to sold-out houses at film festivals and art schools since March.


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