Helvetica is a widely used sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas type foundry) of Münchenstein, Switzerland. The aim of the new design was to create a neutral typeface that had great clarity, no intrinsic meaning in its form, and could be used on a wide variety of signage.
Originally the typeface was called Neue Haas Grotesk, but in 1960 the name of this typreface was changed by ‘Haas’ to ‘Helvetica’. It was originally suggested that it would be called ‘Helvetia’ which means Switzerland, but was ignored by Eduard Hoffman. And he decided to call it Helvetica, because he thought it would be a cliché to give a country name to a typeface.
Helvetica is the most commonly used typeface among designers. Most of us are absolutely obsessed with Helvetica, because it’s such a strong typeface that can be used on many design projects and it produces strong visual graphics.
Anywhere you go in any European cities you see Helvetica everywhere. It’s used to design advertisements, billboards, logos, signs, absolutely everywhere. Watch this ‘Helvetica documentary’ below.