Helvetica, the other white meat.


Let me start by saying I like Helvetica. A lot. It is a wonderful typeface with a plethora of uses, but (and here is where I’m going to get in trouble with typophiles everywhere) it is not the be-all-and-end-all of typefaces.

It is not, as some would have you believe these days, the bacon of the typographic world (that’s another kettle of fish – but this is a design blog, not a food one).

Now while you are off sharpening your pitchforks, let me explain:

Helvetica does not make every design better. It is a very clean, easy to read typeface. Of constant weight and line, it is pleasant to look at and legible at a distance. To me, it is the white meat chicken of typefaces. It can be used in many different situations to great effect. A very utilitarian font, but there are others of equal dignity and perhaps of greater impact. White meat chicken is universally liked for a reason: it goes with so very many things and is completely inoffensive and sometimes (when prepared well) quite delicious.

So when choosing your typographic weapons, choose carefully. Helvetica isn’t for everything and, considering its ubiquity these days, should be used intelligently. Embrace your Copperplates and Garamonds, rejoice in your Avant Gardes and Neutrafaces. Remember that, as a designer, it is your duty to help your client stand out in the crowd. If we all wear the same clothing, we don’t shout out our uniqueness. And that uniqueness is what separates us and calls attention to what we have to offer.

One thought on “Helvetica, the other white meat.

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