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Famous for:
The most widely-used sans serif type.

Applications: Business and Corporate

Ubiquity:
Very widely used

Category:
Sans Serif Neo Grotesque

Stress: Vertical
Serifs: Sans

Date: 1957

Designer:
Max Miedinger/Eduard Hoffmann

Foundry:
Haas Foundry

Location:
Münchenstein, Switzerland

Current equivalent:
Linotype Helvetica, Linotype Helvetica Neue series

See also:
Haas Grotesk, Geneva, Helios, Newton, Megaron, Vega, BT Swiss 721, Nimbus Sans, Arial

Technologies:
Metal (foundry)
Metal (machine)
Photosetting
Postscript
Opentype

Design history:
As Erik Spiekermann says, this is the typeface designed to show no emotion; later extended into a family of about 50 variants by the addition of extra weights and styles, often by other hands. Max Miedinger was initially asked by Eduard Hoffmann to revamp the old Haas Grotesk in 1951, and it was released under that name in Switzerland. When the Haas Foundry became a subsidiary of Stempel/Linotype in Germany, it was renamed Helvetia. This type was subsequently cross-licensed and sold extensively in overseas markets, becoming a standard in the process, and copied under differing names by almost all of the typesetting equipment suppliers. Now widely distributed as a default font with computer operating systems.

profile 9

picture: Baseline magazine