Helvetica: A cryptic biography

Art, The Ether, Typography, Words


Allow me to explain why this is so gloriously witty.

Helvetica is the popular kid at the Swiss Modernist school of typeface design, where being sans serif is all the rage.

It’s also the new kid on the block (relatively speaking).

Before Helvetica, Akzidenz-Grotesk (from the Berthold type foundry) was everyone’s favourite. And then, in the true spirit of commercial competition (ie: a spirit most wily and cunning), Max Miedinger at the Haas type foundry was commissioned to model a new typeface on this ‘grotesque accident’.

He did. And then there was Helvetica.

Hence its original name, Die Neue Haas Grotesk: literally, the ‘new’ Grotesk, by Haas.

See Helvetica (the movie) for more generally useless and absurdly involved typeface trivia.

First published at tumblr Proof (v.)

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