In absolute agreement with Bruno Maag (re Helvetica)

clauses's picture

Seems like he reached similar conclusions to the team behind Haas Unica, perhaps from similar motivations.

ebensorkin's picture

Very very well put. I am curious to see if it is actually capable of being set into useful 12pt word blocks like Haas Unica is.

John Hudson's picture

I can't be in absolute agreement with Bruno about this, in part because likening Helvetica to vanilla ice cream indicates that he's never had real vanilla ice cream.

Si_Daniels's picture

I was with him until he chose to use the word "descriding".

Cheers, Si

Queneau's picture

Do we really need a another, better helvetica? Especially when the differences will not be spotted by anyone except type nuts like us. It's not that I don't see the point, but there are many typefaces besides Univers and Helvetica. And many typefaces have already been created with the same objective. I just don't see the point, except excercising personal demons. Why otherwise make a typeface very much like Helvetica, when you hate Helvetica?

J Weltin's picture

Why otherwise make a typeface very much like Helvetica, when you hate Helvetica?
Because you can sell it as a corporate typeface if you find the right client …

bruno_maag's picture

John, I often order vanilla ice cream as my desert at good restaurants as I belive its quality says all about the restaurant, and I am always prepared to spend a more money in the shops to have better quality, such as Ben&Jerry's. My point is that Helvetica is a inferior quality vanilla ice cream, one made with water, vanilla extract and vegetable fats instead of real double cream, proper vanilla pods and all. It's why I don't use Helvetica but always go for better quality. Now, I believe that there a many good vanillas out there and some of it comes down to personal taste: Akzidenz vanilla I am fond of, too, and of course Univers vanilla. One of the newer flavours is Akkurat, although I find it tastes a bit old-fashioned.

So far I have only made vanilla cream at home and I find it superior to many bought ones. I will venture and spend an afternoon to make an ice cream in the full knowledge that it will be much more enjoyable than the supermarket brand. So enjoy the Aktiv vanilla. You know it tastes great and it's good for you.

Buno

myobie's picture

I agree that Helvetica is overused and that Univers is a great typeface, but Aktiv, Haas Unica, or any of the other "better" Helvetica's just don't seem to work for me.

Helvetica is smooth and easy to ignore, like cheese wiz - plastic nothingness that is fun to use. Sure there are finer cheeses out there, but do we really need a gourmet bottle of cheese wiz?

Nick Shinn's picture

You're a little late to the Anti-Helvetica party, Eben and Bruno, or is the UK really so far behind the times?

bruno_maag's picture

Helvetica has bothered me for a long time and I have finally found the solace to voice my discord. And what with everyone still using Helvetica for pretty much everything, despite many fantastic fonts available, I think to join the party now is perfectly legitimate. And clearly a lot of people haven't heard yet that there was a party going on.

Gourmet bottle of cheese wiz - I like that.

Nick Shinn's picture

...a lot of people haven't heard yet that there was a party going on.

I guess you're right Bruno, it's still #1 at MyFonts. Sigh.

Miedinger was indeed a salesman, just like the famous excogitator of typefaces, Stanley Morison, responsible for another bête noir, Times Roman.

William Berkson's picture

My take on Helvetica is a bit different. I think that it has more "punch" in display than Univers, but is horrible in text.

Here is a comparison of Univers and Neue Helvetica:

Note how Helvetica (below) is wider and set tighter, and Univers is narrower, and set looser. Compare the word "love" in "Handgloves" and you see the power of Helvetica. But this same quality of being "fat in the middle" as Erik Spiekermann put it in the movie, and tightly spaced, makes it horrible in text.

I think it has limited use, and is so overused and wrongly used that it makes me scream, but to deny its obvious virtues it seems to me to undermine the real case against its widespread use.

Univers is way better in text, but then I think Frutiger and Avenir are still better.--And I think that sans in general are limited in how good they can be for extended text.

Personally, I never liked the aesthetic of Univers—too cold. But I was surprised by the warmth and attractiveness of the examples of hot metal Univers in Frutiger Typefaces: The Complete Works. It has real charm there, and is said to be Frutiger's favorite version by far. Univers Next is an effort of Frutiger and Linotype to capture that, but I don't know how well it succeeds.

akos.polgardi's picture

I found the comparison with Julia Roberts particularly fitting.

Nick Shinn's picture

Akzidenz Grotesk = Erin Brockovich.

1985's picture

Bruno, it's very interesting to read your replies here and on the Creative Review article. I also really enjoyed reading your assessment of the Univers 'a' in Grafik Magazine, though I am not sure I concur, I find this level of assessment really thrilling.

However, I'd like to know more about your process than the motivation. What do you make of Unica, New Rail Alphabet (Kubel's digital version), Graphik, Neutral etc. and did you examine these faces as closely as Helvetica and Univers whilst evolving Aktiv?

I have been working on my own grotesk face for some time now. Almost every day I revise the whole strategy for it, ever conscious of failing to deliver something short of solid niche. I am not a commercial type designer so there is no financial pressure to deliver at any point and I am in no doubt that professionals would be dismayed at my practice! However, for this continued self assessment I have abandoned trying to replace anything and every day of the venture demonstrates that this is less and less feasible. As a result, the actual designs (not necessarily the use) of Helvetica/Univers/(dare I say even) Arial et al bother me less and less. It's actually a very rewarding feeling to be reconciled in this manner and to extract that which I view as positive becomes much easier. I can only hope that this approach will be more revealing and improve my work.

Nick, as for Akzidenz Grotesk… well, I'd relish the chance to buy the Optimo Theinhardt Family if the job came along. I also wish there was a digital copy of Series 57 Akzidenz.

Anyway, Bruno, I'd love to hear more about how your process on this particular design. That is what made those Unica character sheets so thrilling. I think you had some comments about the 'o' to this effect, more please! Thanks in advance.

1985's picture

@William Berkson

Page 101 of Frutiger's book (plate 39) is always open on my desk.
As for Univers in display settings it looks pretty good to me atop München 1972 posters!

sirius black's picture

"I am always prepared to spend a more money in the shops to have better quality, such as Ben&Jerry's."

Ben&Jerry's considered a quality ice cream buy!? All notion of taste just evacuated the building 8-/

Queneau's picture

Rather than Ice Cream I think Helvetica is Margarine, whereas Univers is real butter. It looks the same and it has it's uses, and it's cheaper, but it doesn't really taste that well really...

1985's picture

What is this a food forum or what ;-) ?

William Berkson's picture

Andrew (1985): Yes, Univers looks great on that page. I haven't studied it to try to figure why it is so much more attractive than I usually find Univers. I don't think it's just that it is letter press, and the corners softened. It seems like the spacing is different, and tighter. Is that all there is?

Have you done a comparison with Univers Next? Do you have an opinion on how well captures the original Deberny & Peignot? In the book it shows that the weights are not exactly the same, as the LT Univers original "regular" is heavier (see illustration 56, p. 107) Is he LT Univers regular weight the same as the original Deberny & Peignot? Frutiger describes how he spent many sessions discussing it with Emil Ruder, and he feels the regular (55) is his best "medium" weight. (p. 93)

Does Univers Next 55 match it? I am a little doubtful, given the story Frutiger tells. The earlier versions of Univers, after the Deberny & Peignot, he feels are a "sorry tale" (p. 97) and the earlier Linotype versions are a "catastrophe" (p. 102). He says he "suffered for it," meaning that while Helvetica was fixed and polished in Neue Helvetica, his Univers was less popular partly because it had been badly done by Linotype. And even though he worked on Linotype Next—a project initiated by Bruno Steinhardt—he says he doesn't see the point of so many weights. I wonder whether any of them match the original 55 that he was so proud of, and which we have both been struck by the beauty of.

By the way, I'd *love* to have that book with Frutiger's woodcuts illustrating Genesis, and the text in letter press Univers. I think there are only a few copies in existence. Bruno Steinhardt showed the copy that Frutiger gave him at TypeCon in Boston. Awesome.

edit: Re-reading Frutiger's account, I see that also some of the widths were changed for Monotype, the basis for a lot of other versions, according to him. Reading Frutiger's own distress over the later versions of Univers, I feel like my being underwhelmed by it—except for that awesome page in the Frutiger book—is somewhat justified. This design is so minimalist and disciplined, that being a little off in rhythm is really a big deal.

1985's picture

Thanks for your reply William. Let me preface by saying I don't think I know quite so much as yourself about the various versions. I am not sure why I prefer this version, I guess the weight? The slightly softer outline produced by the printing process somehow favours the letters also. 'e' and 'o' seem a fraction rounder on the outside contour. Again perhaps owing to some spread the junctions are a little blacker. 'a' has a little more 'forehead' and a happier bowl, the two counters are more balanced. There are so many versions I get confused as to what I am comparing to so forgive me for my general impressions. I just know that this is my preferred image of Univers and I too would love to own an original copy of 'Genesis'.

But yes, whatever it was that changed made a great deal of difference. I often feel let down by the quality offered by digital versions of this genre:

1985's picture

Both of the above images show extraordinarily poor outlines, particularly the right hand shoulder of each letter. Apologies for the different scales, these are just grabs I made as I was working. Also, apologies if my reply was not as comprehensive!

dezcom's picture

While I always have felt that Univers was far superior to Helvetica in every way, I never felt the need to "kill it". The truth is, the more we complain about Helvetica, the more well known it becomes. We don't need to REPLACE Helvetica, we just need to move on and let it become just another face in history. We don't need a typeface that does what Helvetica DOES, we are better served by designing one that does what Helvetica DOES NOT do.

1985's picture

I don't think there is any harm in quality alternatives, but replacing a typeface will be a matter of choice for the typographer, not the type designer. As I pointed out above the available versions of the 'classic' grotesks are perhaps sub standard in comparison to typefaces of the same genre being produced today (others such as Unica entirely unavailable), so I am in ultimately in favour of this kind of work, whereby one reexamines these exactitudes, especially regarding coherence between weights and the calibre of outlines for display setting.

William Berkson's picture

Chris, well put. Andrew [1985], I don't actually know much about the different versions. I was just quoting what Frutiger says in the book. I actually think that the bigger issue than the quality of the curves—which is also important—is typographic color and texture and spacing. I think that's what really went off in the later versions of Univers, with the probable exception of Univers Next, the only one which Frutiger himself worked on.

1985's picture

I think it is both, William! In text general colour, tracking etc. is most important but in display sizes curve fidelity is increasingly important. I'd hope more attention might be given to kerning short lengths and titles anyway. As I'm sure you know, it is very common to see a face like Helvetica 1 or 2 ft high, usually in vinyl (plotters struggle anyway). I'd like to see better quality outlines in this situation and I think that new designs more often deliver.

Back to Bruno though!

Jack B. Nimblest Jr.'s picture

Yeah well, I think this is partly about the continuing European backlash to the poor quality of many of these types republished in America from 1984 into the mid-90's, which happened to get a lot of global use.

A panel unto itself somewhere.

Cheers!

1985's picture

Yes I think perhaps that is what I am describing above.

A panel unto itself somewhere.

What do you mean by this, David?

Thanks

Nick Shinn's picture

We don't need to REPLACE Helvetica, we just need to move on and let it become just another face in history. We don't need a typeface that does what Helvetica DOES, we are better served by designing one that does what Helvetica DOES NOT do.

Right on, Chris.
There is not much merit in being a slave to mindless utility under the guise of "neutrality". Many types designed recently have something new and interesting to say about the grotesque genre, in much the same way as Univers and Helvetica were interesting forty or fifty years ago. My "Post-Helvetica": Preface

butterick's picture

This is a very strange discussion, because it seems like we all know that ...

Helvetica remains popular because of its baggage, not in spite of it. 1% of its design utility is in the letterforms; the other 99% is in the cumulative evocative power of 50 years in the popular consciousness. When you see Helvetica in use, you're also seeing the refractions of every other Helvetica you’ve ever come across. (That's not only true of Helvetica --- every font picks up secondary meaning over time through accumulated use)

The idea that someone can come up with a typeface design that has certain objective advantages over Helvetica -- sure, that's perfectly plausible. Nobody claims Helvetica is technically perfect. But in terms of toppling Helvetica from its perch, that's not the difficult issue, because technical merit only goes to 1% of Helvetica's value. (Similarly, that's also why imperfect digital renderings of Helvetica have not slowed its momentum --- even with crap outlines, 99% of the value is intact)

I love New York Magazine, in part because of the wonderful art direction. And every few months they put out an issue that goes apeshit with Helvetica. And the thing is, just when I think I can't look at Helvetica ever again, they completely sell it.

You want to show me a new typeface? OK, sure, I've seen a lot of them, some are interesting, some not so much. But you want to show me something about Helvetica I've never noticed before? That's much harder, so I'm much more impressed when you pull it off.

blank's picture

When you see Helvetica in use, you're also seeing the refractions of every other Helvetica you’ve ever come across.

I’m putting that in my syllabus next semester.

Nick Shinn's picture

You want to show me a new typeface? ... you want to show me something about Helvetica I've never noticed before?

That's not a valid comparison.

I want to show you something new with a new typeface.

Why do you think that's easier than teaching the old dog a new trick?

And isn't meaningfulness a better criterion than virtuosity anyway?

The way that design with Helvetica is informed by all those refractions is stagnant and recursive culture, spiralling up its own ass.

1985's picture

When you see Helvetica in use, you're also seeing the refractions of every other Helvetica you’ve ever come across.

This is not specific to Helvetica but all fonts, images, songs, colours… That's the feedback loop inherent to semiotics.

With all due respect Nick, why is design with Helvetica any more evidence of recursive culture than endlessly dredging up Garamonds or any other successful but aging typeface?

And isn't meaningfulness a better criterion than virtuosity anyway?

If you rephrase that it might read

And isn't meaningfulness a more virtuous criterion than virtuosity anyway?

butterick's picture

The way that design with Helvetica is informed by all those refractions is stagnant and recursive culture, spiralling up its own ass.

Design with [fill in anything] is informed by the accumulated refractions of [fill in anything]. That includes any design that incorporates type. It also includes type design itself. If anything, type design is more self-referential and inbred than most design disciplines.

I don't mean that pejoratively. On the contrary, I think it's what makes type design interesting (and difficult). The literal project of type designers is drawing type on the screen. But that's the most boring layer of the work. The complicated layer is the way that refracted meanings are being evoked -- sometimes straight, sometimes with variations -- via these letterforms. It's sort of remarkable to think that type designers can manipulate emotional reactions in readers by manipulating points and lines on a screen.

I want to show you something new with a new typeface. Why do you think that's easier than teaching the old dog a new trick?

Nick I find this an odd comment from you, given that many of your own typeface designs (e.g. Scotch Modern) are influenced by historical models that you chose (I assume) for their evocative energy. When I or anyone looks at Scotch Modern, it raises memories of a certain era of typography. All these memories serve as the backdrop for our current experience with your typeface. So didn't you teach an old dog a new trick?

I suppose your response might be "No, I drew a new typeface." Well, yes and no. The outlines are new. There are new ideas added. But the core emotional resonance of the typeface draws on a lot of material that's not new at all. Again, none of which I mean pejoratively -- that is true of every historical revival, and why historical revivals are an evergreen source of inspiration for type designers --- there is always a new trick to teach the old dog. You will see something in the historical model that earlier designers didn't see. (I think of the comparison in Bringhurst between ITC Berkeley and FB Californian.)

True newness in typeface design is much rarer. Zuzana Licko might be the contemporary type designer who has cultivated the most unexplored territory. But I think it's also no accident that her later work features more revival designs. Teaching old dogs (Baskerville, Bodoni) new tricks (Mrs Eaves, Filosofia) can be pretty great.

So back to Helvetica. I think the lingering question with Helvetica is not "why does it endure" but "why has it been resistant to reinterpretation?" By and large, designers don't seem to want a font that's "like Helvetica but better" or "a postmodern riff on Helvetica". They just want Helvetica.

blank's picture

The way that design with Helvetica is informed by all those refractions is stagnant and recursive culture, spiralling up its own ass.

That’s a very twentieth-century way neophilic of looking at things. The notion that ideas, particularly in the visual arts, should have a very short shelf life and then be cast aside for whatever the next young turk has come up with might be great for generating revenue, but it’s no so good at allowing us to refine anything. Ancient Egyptian artists practiced in the same for millennia and it still impresses people thousands of years after their culture finally changed. It would have been a real shame if that style had been cast aside after a couple decades to satisfy the neophiles.

1985's picture

True that…

dezcom's picture

"The notion that ideas, particularly in the visual arts, should have a very short shelf life and then be cast aside..."

There is a difference between admiration/appreciation of a historic work or style and the slavish need to replicate it ad infinitum for fear of losing the connection to "Known" success paths. It is just as bad or arrogant to bind ones feet in the strapping of past successes as it is to cry "Change just for the sake of novelty" is the only worthy path.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

I have a love for both classics and fresh design. I don't have a problem with people using Helvetica well, which is definitely possible. My problem is that it is used constantly when there are better options, and often used just horribly. Used in text "it looks like dog shit" as the late Paul Rand said. I'm tired of having to look at dog shit every day. If I had a dog there might be compensation :)

dezcom's picture

There is no typeface ever designed that is immune from being used horribly. There is no way to stop bad usage (or any usage) for that matter. The problem with Helvetica, Times Roman, and several other "overused ad nauseam" typefaces is that they are forever embedded on every computer on the planet and are doomed to stay there as long as there is backwards compatibility.
I have no problem with Helvetica when used properly. My only problem is that it is rarely used by choice and more often used by happenstance because of defaults, ignorance, and to some degree, laziness :-) Any typeface given the history and exposure of Helvetica would fall victim to the same disdain and incessant cries for euthanasia.

I say let it live a fine life in semiretirement and move on to the natural ways of evolution. It was one thing centuries ago when Guttenberg first made his blackletter type modeled after scribal writing. It was the only show in town. The world moved on from then and created many newer faces without committing murder on the original typeface. As the Beatles once said, "in this time of darkness... Let it Be."

Nick Shinn's picture

Matthew, you're still not distinguishing between type design and typography.

If you're saying that I don't walk my talk, you should first consider my record as an art director. The choices of art directors and graphic designers is really what this thread is about.

For the record, I followed the Baskin-Robbins philosophy of type choice (so many flavors, so little time), so was always using different fonts for different clients, be they new typefaces or obscure old ones.

However, it was not always possible to convince clients about this, so I must say that art directors who use Helvetica today may not be totally guilty, if their clients are asking for it.

**

As a working type designer, I have produced a few stereotypical genre types as commissions (eg Worldwide, Brown, and Walburn for newspapers), but my preference is for original designs.

Scotch Modern is a result of conversations I had at Typophile, where I trashed revivals as not being type design, and met enough resistance that I thought perhaps I should give it a try, in the sense of a strict facsimile. One reason I chose the Scotch Modern genre is precisely because it is so overlooked today as a text face (old styles being used for the allusion of "old" in work concerning the 19th century is a particular bugbear of mine).

Again, whether I taught an old dog (Scotch Modern) a new trick is not the issue -- it's typographers who decide which hoops it should jump through.

**

I think the lingering question with Helvetica is not "why does it endure" but "why has it been resistant to reinterpretation?" By and large, designers don't seem to want a font that's "like Helvetica but better" or "a postmodern riff on Helvetica". They just want Helvetica.

Again, that's two questions.
For type designers, "Helvetica" has in one sense proved resistant to reinterpretation -- we are talking about a typeface, the grotesk sans, that began in the mid 19th century, the letterforms of which have been massaged ever since under varying trade names.

In another sense, the grotesque sans has been constantly reinterpreted. Not every grotesque has adhered so closely to the Akzidenz Grotesk model as Helvetica.

For typographers, I would suggest that the majority of those who specify Helvetica are not trying to impress you with something you've never noticed before, but the opposite. They use Helvetica in a conventional, safe (dare one say professional) manner, because it gets the job done. So it is not resistant to reinterpretation, because utility is their priority, not new tricks.

That’s a very twentieth-century way neophilic of looking at things.

On the contrary, the argument against mass conformity arose in the first age of mass production, the 19th century. From Carlyle to Morris.

1985's picture

In all fairness, Nick, Helvetica is somewhat more than the lines of capital letters you show in the above image and in your article The Face of Uniformity. I think there was a little more work behind Helvetica than just massaging.

dezcom's picture

The lowercase of AG's precursor was developed in the late nineteenth century but the style prevalent at the time was for titles or display type to be set in all capitals. There may be precious few examples of the lowercase having survived until our time but there still are a few bits to be found with some [not so hard] hard digging.

Below from Mosley's "The Nymph and the Grot" an 1819 sample in all caps and then an 1834 sample in lowercase:

And here is small detail from an 1883 sample from Taschen's "Visual History of Type":

Andreas Stötzner's picture

… the lingering question with Helvetica is not "why does it endure" but "why has it been resistant to reinterpretation?"

Well put!
I dare to try an answer, be kind with me when I fail :-)

Perhaps the actual strenght of Helvetica is – its peak miserability. A badness which roots in the total lack of a concept what *letterforms* are, or what they ought to be. Helvetica has nothing to do with writing or printing, or anything else of tangible quality. It appears to be the incarnation of merely administering the alphabet, without having any clue about its shaping. As such a failure, H. is something very human. Like all the bad qualities human beings possess …

Though Helvetica’s origins lay in the late fifties, it became obviously the typical typographic expression for the seventies. And if it really is a particular bad face, what does that say about that period?
Though its origin is Swiss, it became rather typical for German or American typography. Has anyone an explanation for that? What does it tell about the Germans, about the Americans?!

My personal assumption is: Helvetica owes its omnipresence to it being simply THE NON-TYPEFACE, lending generously absolution to all and everything. Maybe therefore it seems to resist reinterpretation.
_

And now I’d like to see anyone of you coming up with a new ROTIS.

Nick Shinn's picture

I think there was a little more work behind Helvetica than just massaging.

Not really.
Here is a document showing the working process of plagiarizing Akzidenz Grotesk that Miedinger oversaw.

So the lower case of the Grotesque, although not as old as the capitals, extends back into the 19th century.

butterick's picture

To go back to my original point --- among type designers, most of the vitriol directed toward Helvetica targets its intrinsic weaknesses as a work of typeface design. I guess that's understandable --- type designers tend to see typefaces in type-design terms.

But for Helvetica, most of its accrued meaning comes from outside the typeface, so criticisms lobbed at Helvetica from within the type-design arena sort of miss the point. It's like criticizing Star Wars because the visual effects are unrealistic. Or because the dialogue is wooden. Or because the plot is pinched from any number of cheesy westerns. All true. But so what?

And to go back to the Bruno Maag interview at the top of this thread, Mr. Maag likewise seems to be down in the weeds with his criticisms about how Helvetica was made and marketed. All true. But so what? The idea of a typeface designer making a "Helvetica killer" seem to me as odd as a sci-fi filmmaker setting out to make a "Star Wars killer".

And past that, looking at Aktiv Grotesk as a reader, it really does resemble Helvetica (yes, I can see the differences, but the overall feeling is still strongly Helvetica-esque). So Aktiv Grotesk rides on Helvetica's coattails, and in so doing is not a Helvetica killer at all, but a Helvetica propagator.

Or to put it another way: if person who really loved Helvetica made a Helvetica "revival" that restored some of the more Grotesk-like details, how would we distinguish it from Mr. Maag's work? Mr. Maag's work seems much closer to an act of homage than hatred (despite his claims to the contrary)

Nick Shinn's picture

...among type designers, most of the vitriol directed toward Helvetica targets its intrinsic weaknesses as a work of typeface design...type designers tend to see typefaces in type-design terms.

I think you're guessing.
Personally, I'm not irritated by Helvetica per se, but by the fact that its ubiquity is an affront to myself and other present-day type designers. Not only does it say "you guys aren't as good as the old guys", but worse, the default systems aesthetic: "type design is unimportant, I'll use the default" and the economic effect -- profit for corporate shareholders, not type-designers.

In this respect, I see "type-design" in terms of being a socio-economic, cultural process, rather than the product of such activity.

1985's picture

Nick, I don't see that image as evidence of plagiarism, in fact I think it is a little flippant to say so. The fact that these documents were made, kept and now published suggests to me that they are not a shameful record of such activity. Perhaps, however, you view this as the ultimate crime, gone unpunished!

I mentioned above that I would like to see a digital version of Series 57 Akzidenz. I hope I am correct in saying this version of AG that was adapted to look like Helvetica, a similar treatment was given to Monotype Grotesque Version 1961. Are these typefaces plagiarising Helvetica? Does this not say something about the sharing of culture and ideas? Ideas are shared, inescapable once witnessed, and always imitated and refracted. You say it yourself, the lowercase extends back into the 19th Century, and what came before that, a black hole? No, of course not, some other rock to stand on and step out. And now Bruno has used Helvetica as a rock to step out from, and I in my own efforts to design a typeface I will no doubt examine what he has done. I will also look at Arial and examine it's much debated character. In doing so I am not blinding myself, for all that I dismiss, I carry the imprint!

Forma, Maxima, Linea, Unica… even Neue Helvetica. Obviously these too are all acts of plagiarism by a cunning masseur!

More likely they evidence the same activity of evolving and adapting that we all partake in, you included, like it or not! Wether it is trussed up in marketing or ideology is irrelevant. Amazing that you place yourself outside of this ultimately human activity! Spiraling up it's own ass, indeed!

1985's picture

Personally, I'm not irritated by Helvetica per se, but by the fact that its ubiquity is an affront to myself and other present-day type designers. Not only does it say "you guys aren't as good as the old guys", but worse, the default systems aesthetic: "type design is unimportant, I'll use the default" and the economic effect -- profit for corporate shareholders, not type-designers.

This is just paranoid.

typerror's picture

What a colossal waste of time and energy!

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