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24

I think Helvetica's biggest strength (and thus is greatest weakness) is just how "neutral" of a typeface it is. It really can work well in all sorts of situations and applications because of how balanced and neutral it is. But by the same token, it becomes "bland" - the office beige color of typefaces. I would never say Helvetica is superior to any other ...


14

Objectively you've already mostly answered it in your question: neutral In that it's 'plain' and not overly decorated, this is certainly true. Helvetica in a lot of situations doesn't impart any additional meaning (intentional or otherwise) beyond the words it is forming. well-glyphed I'm not sure I've heard that particular term before, but I ...


9

Typefaces become popular for a number of reasons, partly technology (which often drives fashion -- "Because I can" is a more potent driver than most people realize), partly the cultural milieu within which they fit and become associated, partly the mood they invoke (or don't). The grotesks in general arrived on the typographic scene at a time when Western ...


7

I think that this is exact question is answered very well by the documentary on the font that came out in 2007. It has been a while since I have seen it, but the part I remember most goes over how Helvetica became associated with modern design at the time of it's introduction. It talks about many other reasons as well: readability, compactness... This ...


6

A tricky aspect of design is that things which are actually uniform seldom look uniform. Unlike some earlier sans-serif font families which actually had uniform stroke widths, and others which included marked variations in stroke widths, Helvetica is designed to balance varying stroke widths to create a general appearance of uniformity. For example, in ...


5

This question has a lot of answers, so I'll try to be brief. Helvetica is the absolute peak of European (or Swiss) modernism and, as such, it strives for neutrality. As Massimo Vignelli put it: You can write I love you in "Helvetica Extra Light" to be very gentle and romantic, or you can write I love you in "Helvetica Extra Bold" to be intense and ...


1

In addition to web sites, most font management applications have a feature to allow you to browse fonts in different manners. I happen to use FontAgentProX. It has a "font compare" tab that allows you to highlight fonts (active or not) and see them side by side: I'm sure Suitcase, FontExplorer, et. al. have similar features.



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