Helvetica's "rivals" according to the BBC

canderson's picture


It's a general-interest piece on Helvetica. Perhaps only Typophiles would note that all the other fonts they chose to list under "Helvetica's rivals" were of British origin. A coincidence?

Stephen Coles's picture

Good catch, Carl! Didn't notice that. It could be argued that Verdana was born in the US, though, because Carter is a Boston resident.

It's a pretty sloppy graphic. You'd think this is one story the staff designers would like to get in on.

George Horton's picture

Ah yes, the "big five".

dberlow's picture

"“Helvetica’s rivals” were of British origin."
Only from a British point of view. Times and Verdana are not particularly British, nor made by Brits.

(Please place argument here)

vinceconnare's picture

and Mr. Carter is in the Republic of Cambridge, MA

BradB's picture

Times and Times New Roman were designed by Stanley Morrison in 1931 and 1932. Morrison is British (born 6. 5. 1889 in Wanstead, England, died 11. 10. 1967 in London, England). Granted, Times and TNR are based largely on Plantin, so I see why you may say they're "not particularly British" but TNR is definitely made by a Britishman. It's probably more "British" since it was commissioned for the Times of London newspaper.

On another note, I didn't know Verdana was a rival for Helvetica... on the internet maybe, but not in print!

vinceconnare's picture

Verdana was invented in Redmond WA at a meeting. Built up in Cambridge MA, Redmond WA my office and some other ones, in Wisconsin, and Palo Alto CA.

and some boys and birds commenting Comical...

canderson's picture

As for Verdana, the facts are what they are. Don't tell the Brits though, because they think he's still theirs.


fredo's picture

Brad dear, I think David Berlow is referring to that American shipbuilder Burgess. Feel free to google.


hrant's picture

Brad, yes, some people believe that Times was in fact designed by Starling Burgess, an American ship designer. The article in APHA by Mike Parker is not unconvincing (sorry for sounding so English there :-).


dberlow's picture

" TNR is definitely made by a Britishman" Definitely so.
"designed by Stanley Morrison" Definitely not so.

"Verdana was invented in Redmond WA at a meetin" which means you never saw any of the precursors he drew...not in Redmond, and not in a meeting. ;)

People say the darndest things about fonts...;)

timd's picture

>Don’t tell the Brits though, because they think he’s still theirs.

Overseas aid :)


dberlow's picture

"American shipbuilder Burgess. "
Burgess build no ships. He did however design boats.

G T's picture

One of the comments on that bbc page.

'Two fonts walk into the bar, and the barman says, "sorry lads, we don't serve your type".'


BradB's picture

So, then, who made Times New Roman?

Ehague's picture

Has the name Victor Lardent been brought up yet?

dberlow's picture

"So, then, who made Times New Roman?"
Monotype, recently.

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