Getting “faced” with Helvetica.

May 9, 2007 at 1:29 pm (Cool Tech, General)

Image of Helvetica type faceI’ll be darned. The world’s favorite font – Helvetica – is 50 years old today. Born a mere 7 months after I was, the Helvetica font (also known as Arial) is used on millions of web pages, corporate logos, and computers every day. A story on the BBC News web site brought its birthday to my attention, and you can read the story here. You will learn details the font’s history, and compare it with several other popular typefaces. You will find that it has inspired a documentary, and a whole lot of Helvetica Haters. You will see that its Swiss neutrality makes it a top choice when you want to convey clarity, simplicity, reassurance, and smooth function.

Yeah, it’s pretty geeky of me to celebrate the birth of a typeface, but I wear my geekhood proudly, like a modern day Masonic pin.

The other reason for me to blog about it was to share this joke that some wag posted after the story:

Two fonts walk into the bar, and the barman says, “sorry lads, we don’t serve your type”.

Look out!Yep. I am indeed easily amused. And this Lancastrian’s remark strikes a sympathetic chord with my life, too:

It’s Verdana for me. It has Helvetica’s clean lines, but with a modern sleekness. I like to think of it as Helvetica’s sexier sister. And yes, I really should get out more…

I’m going to go “get out” now.

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