• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Helvetica Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Helvetica: Its significance and its impacts on our society Several years have passed since the birth of the modernists' typeface that had revolutionised the way typography has been depicted in the last 50 years. "What has Helvetica told you today?" (Huswit, Helvetica Trailer, 2007) is a clever metaphor as Helvetica has and is still playing a significant role in our lives; it speaks to us on a daily basis and provides us with important information. We do not realise that Helvetica is everywhere; in fact it is right it front of you. Helvetica is not a raw typeface; the job itself was a re-design of Akzidenz-Grotesk for Max Miedinge. Eduard Hoffmann commissioned it in 1957. In the Haas Type Foundry in Munchenstein, Switzerland, Eduard Hoffmann and Max Miedinger completed the typeface. Originally the typeface was going to be named 'Neue Haas Grotesk', but it was renamed Helvetica, which is Switzerland in Latin, because the typeface was going to be used globally. Since the typeface was going to be utilized world wide, Helvetica had to adhere to different languages and thus had to include special characters, such as the German umlaut. Helvetica was initially released in 1961 and gradually transformed into a corporate typeface. ...read more.

Middle

The signage in New York also uses Helvetica; it appears on their underground train signage. Royal Mail uses Helvetica because the characteristics of the typeface depict what Royal Mail is, respectable, efficient and clear. Helvetica is also commonly used in the authoritative and instructive manner, such as warning signs, 'harmful smoking' messages and generally 'do this' or 'don't do that' signage. It is the typeface of power. Helvetica essentially re-designed the corporate identity in the 1960's, but between the 1970's and the 1980's the typeface became a little simple. This is because of the post-modernist graphic designers' such as David Carson and Neville Brody who threw out the 'instruction manual' on how to perceive typography within graphic design. It was a new generation of young designers who seemed to be indulging in their self-disciplined ways designing new solutions. Designers from the 1960's would assume that this new type of designers would think irrationally. The important question that needs to be asked is, "What is the main point of graphic design?" The answer to this is quite simple, to communicate a message. Then, why do postmodernists feel that it is essential to graphically depict typography? Gary Hustwit made a documentary film about Helvetica is not just because of its 50th birthday, but also because of the re-birth of modernism during the 1990's and 2000's. ...read more.

Conclusion

Everyone sees Helvetica, even if they are not aware about it, but it is everywhere and people will have seen it more than ten times a day. This celebration of Helvetica will be the first of many to come; the typeface has had a strong existence in the first fifty years and there is no reason for it to not be used commonly in the future. Helvetica, the extended documentary film, has been released for about a year, but enthusiastic typographers will continue their discussion about why the typeface is perfect or why it's boring. Many people utilize Helvetica because it accomplishes the job, but several people advocate the use of a typeface, which is graphically explaining the word. Watching the documentary will give the audience some interesting comments and opinions about the use of the typeface from great contemporary graphic designers. The documentary contains various views both good and bad about the typeface Helvetica. By viewing the excellent documentary, the audience can derive their own perception of Helvetica, but there is one thing that is quite evident. Helvetica has inevitably become a significant part of our everyday life; the ubiquity of the typeface has metaphorically integrated itself into our lives through its increasing popularity. Thus, if Helvetica did not exist, our lives would be incredibly different. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Art & Design section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Art & Design essays

  1. Photography Essay.

    They both look happy in the photographs, and they seem friendly. Photograph 8 is the opposite of this, as Clint Eastwood is squinting and pointing right into the camera, in a threatening way. Another link between these photographs is the sense of loneliness.

  2. alec issigonis and the design of the mini cooper

    Was there a design brief given to the designer? There was a design brief given to Alec Issigonis when he was chosen to design the Mini for the British Motor Company. There was various points he had to fulfil when designing the Mini.

  1. Art Essay

    o Western Art - Realism. o Influenced by Japanese wood cut prints - flat layers sitting on top of each other --> new way of looking at art, of valuing it. --> Japanese valued their landscape (loved the colour) --> Monet was interested in landscape.

  2. Gustav Stresemann, the most influential German politician from 1923-1929 helped Germany, in many ways ...

    I think the film would appeal to men in Weimar Germany because of the sex appeal of the character who Marlene Dietrich plays. I also think the film would appeal to women in Weimar Germany because of the glamorous nature of the character who Marlene Dietrich plays, this may appeal to many women.

  1. ferdinand porsche and design of the volkswagen beetle

    In April of 1931 he formed his own company called Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratungen f�r Motoren und Fahrzeugbau. He managed to recruit some of his comrades from the previous companies he had been at earlier in his life.

  2. Brandind the Future

    Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation." - Steve Jobs There are 2 obvious brand leaders for Premium Lager in the UK. The top brand leader in the UK is officially Carling followed by Stella Artois. The 3rd most popular Premium Lager is more difficult to decipher.

  1. Kathe Kolwitz Essay

    However, the biggest influence was the time and place. Living through the transformation from monarchy to capitalism to fascism and through World War I, World War II and the Holocaust, there has been no other time in German history like it. In Germany propaganda was constantly being thrown at the people and many thought everything was fine.

  2. Discuss some of the ways that postmodern photographic practice questions, critiques, or opposes Modernist ...

    It is with these assumptions of Modernist photography that we can now correctly analyze postmodern photographic practice. In doing so it allows me to draw the Hypothesis: Postmodern photography specifically attempts to oppose the above assumptions of photographic practice. Postmodern photography has no boundaries or limits in the way modernism has.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work