The Simplicity of Helvetica
The original Helvetica was designed in Switzerland in 1957
by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas type
foundry. Haas was controlled by the type foundry Stempel,
which was in turn controlled by Linotype.
Helvetica was originally called Die Neue Haas Grotesk, and
was closely based on Schelter-Grotesk. It was created
specifically to be neutral, to not give any
impression or have any meaning in itself. This
neutrality was paramount, and based on the
idea that type itself should give no meaning.
40 Excellent Logos Created with Helvetica
Itâ€™s over fifty years old, itâ€™s the most widely used
Weâ€™re talking about the worldâ€™s most recognizable
font: Helvetica. Its relevance in design through the years
and even today seems unbeatable.
The appeal for a distinctive, professional and timeless
typeface has never dwindled and it keeps gaining more
followers day by day. Love it or hate it, with its multitude of
styles and versions, Helvetica is here to stay.
From airlines, to car companies to the largest software
company, Helveticaâ€™s use in logos throughout the world
remains as strong as ever.
There are those who do not like Helvetica:
"As a text typeface Helvetica is an awkward creature. It is only
because it is available on all computers that it is used by so many
people around the world. You cannot blame them â€“ they have no
typographic education. They just have to set some text in some
typeface. Unfortunately, Helvetica is about the worst choice one can
make for text. Paul Rand, the American graphic designer, advised his
students to use Helvetica only as a display face, and never in text."
UPDATE 24 OCTOBER 2012
Type is the visual representation of word, number and character
It can be manipulated to have an impact on the delivery of the
visual message or reinforce the meaning of a word
Sets of type or â€˜typefacesâ€™ belong to families and can be
serif, sans serif, regular, bold or italic
Type can be sourced from digital libraries, manipulated and
reorganised, or hand generated. Examples of application
include logos, film credits, books and magazine production
TYPOGRAPHIC CONVENTIONS / TERMS
â€˜Typefaceâ€™ is the overall design of type characters. â
€˜Fontâ€™ is the means by which the typeface is delivered (e.
g. the cast metal or the software).
These terms are now used interchangeably.*
â€˜Fontâ€™ can be referred to as regular, italic, light, bold, bold
italic, serif, sans serif, decorative, script etc.
"ADOBE TYPE CLASSIFICATION"
A SIMPLER CLASSIFICATION
A group of typefaces with a common design in a set of weights
and style is referred to as a family.
EXAMPLE: LUCIDA FAMILY
Any added effects to the original typeface (outlined, three-
dimensional, condensed, extended, kerned, tracked,
textured, drop shadow) is a â€˜treatmentâ€™.
50+ PHOTOSHOP EFFECTS/TREATMENTS
The technique of arranging typefaces. Selecting typefaces,
point size, line length, leading, tracking and kerning is known
as typography. Techniques used for production of typographic
visual communication can include letterpress, digital, hand
generated, constructed. To organise the production of
typefaces, structural aspects of typefaces include baseline, x-
height, descender, ascender, stem, crossbar, arm, bowl, leg,
The adjustment of space between adjacent type characters to
optimise their appearance.
KERNING: WHAT IS IT?
The adjustment of space between groups of letters.
InDesign KERNING AND TRACKING WITH COMMENTARY
Measurement of type size; distance from the highest ascender
to the bottom of a descender.
Much of the information above can be found on one website:
AN INTRODUCTION TO TYPE
ALL LINKS TAKE YOU
* Be aware that there is no
worldwide agreement /
convention about many
terms in Graphic Design.
This may cause some
confusion when looking at
However, the terms and
explanations in the Study
Design will need to be
adhered to in your work.
They will also be used in
Exam questions, and you
will be expected to
understand them and use
them in your answers.
WEBSITE MANAGED AND CREATED BY
FOR SEVERAL YEARS
THIS DESIGN ELEMENT
WAS KNOWN AS
The relevant web page on
this website has now been
(19 APRIL 2012)
and has some useful
ALSO WORTH A LOOK
IN THE NEW VCE STUDY DESIGN
Outcome 2: APPLICATIONS OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION DESIGN
This unit offers a practical context for learning and applying drawing methods and an
understanding and application of basic typography components
AREA OF STUDY 2 : TYPE AND IMAGERY
Increasing advancements in the digital communication of information and their popularity has
led to a greater need for understanding the meaning and function of typography in visual