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Lance Berlin

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helvetica B. Rubenstein

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ypeface expresses mood and atmosphere. It is on every corner and engulfs our lives without us even realizing. Typeface is usually open for interpretation. You may not know the typeface you are reading, but you will be effected by it involuntarily. There is a rhythm to type. When creating a typeface, designers pay attention to the shape between and within characters. Helvetica is a clear, readable, straight forward typeface. It is neutral and has horizontal terminals. Corporations love helvetica because its smoothness makes it seem human. It is accessible, transparent, and accountable. Helvetica is a popular sans-serif typeface that was created in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger. In 1957, type designers felt a need for rational typefaces to present ides to the public in an intelligent way and Helvetica was their savior. With the help of Eduard Hoffmann, Helvetica was developed at the Haas Type Foundry in Switzerland. Hoffmann wished to make a modern version of sans-serif. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, 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 signs. Linotype adopted Neue Haas Grotesk and reworked it. In 1960, the name was changed to Helvetica to attract international markets. Helvetica means Swiss in Latin, which is where the typeface originated.

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A serif is a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface. A typeface without serifs is called sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”. Serif typeface has hats and feet and sans-serif has cleaner terminals. Helvetica is a sans-serif typeface and is used everywhere. After watching this film, I have noticed it in my everyday life. Helvetica is used on many signs including: MetLife, Target, Verizon Wireless, The North Face, Staples, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, CVS, and Subway. Some other places it is used is for BMW, Jeep, tax forms for the IRS, EPA’s, and the AmericanAirlines logo. Helvetica’s sleek lines and modern sensibilities were just what companies were looking for to remake their identities and set themselves apart from the past. Corporations stick by Helvetica because of what they have invested in it. Because of this, it has become associated with corporate culture and business to some degree. When reading it, one hardly notices the letter forms, only the meaning, it’s that well-designed. It’s crisp, clean, and sharply legible, yet humanized by round, soft strokes.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789!?@#$%^&*()-+= Typeface should be neutral sometimes and expressive sometimes depending on what it is being used for. If you want to get a message across or are writing something scholarly, neutral is effective. When a designer wants to be creative and fancy, like on a poster or advertisement, expressive typeface can be used. Neutral typeface should used for clarity and to convey a straight forward message. Expressive typeface should be used for an added effect or to bring out a specific word or phrase. The borders or designs adds creativity and brings life to the typeface. Both neutral and expressive typeface are effective in their own ways and environments.

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Final Portfolio