Helvetica, the greatest font ever? Possibly, given the fact that it is used to spell out major brand identities (Nestlé, Lufthansa), shop names (American Apparel), public signage (the New York subway system was an early adopter), tech companies (Microsoft, Intel, Apple – current iPhones use the fashionably skinny Helvetica Neue) and self-defeatingly ironic T-shirt slogans (“I hate Helvetica”).

Helvetica or Neue Haas Grotesk is a widely used sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 by Swisstypeface designer Max Miedinger with input from Eduard Hoffmann.

Helvetica is a neo-grotesque or realist design, one influenced by the famous 19th century typeface Akzidenz-Grotesk and other German and Swiss designs. Its use became a hallmark of the International Typographic Style that emerged from the work of Swiss designers in the 1950s and 60s, becoming one of the most popular typefaces of the 20th century. Over the years, a wide range of variants have been released in different weights, widths and sizes, as well as matching designs for a range of non-Latin alphabets. Notable features of Helvetica as originally designed include a high x-height, the termination of strokes on horizontal or vertical lines and an unusually tight spacing between letters, which combine to give it a dense, compact appearance.

Love it or loathe, Helvectica is going nowhere, and will remain a go-to font for brand and logo designers. It is a classic, a work of wonder and a font that will remain forever loaded in our hearts.

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