Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Helvetica

Yesterday was the 50th birthday of the typeface Helvetica. On last night's Imagine on BBC1 they celebrated this great typeface. Helvetica is all around you, so much so you probably don't even notice.

One sad note for me is that Helvetica has no been overtaken in usage by the far less elegant Arial. The reason this far less well constructed typeface has beaten this design classic is down to that old demon - Microsoft.

Helevetica has copyright and design issues. Clearly Microsoft loved the typeface but didn't want to stomach the costs so they invented Arial. In last night's show designers said that Helvetica is the default. And if you own any DTP programmes I know you'll agree.

But for the rest of the world who only use Word and Excel then the default is Arial.

If only Helvetica had been designed when the new rules of spreading ideas and designs had been around then your word files and presentations would be just that little bit more elegant.

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