The FontFeed Ã?Â» Helvetica and Alternatives to Helvetica:
February 5, 2007 | In Handpicked Fonts
Helvetica and Alternatives to Helvetica
Helvetica is a classic. Helvetica is played out. Each of these statements is true to an extent. The worldÃ¢â?¬â?¢s most recognizable typeface will soon star in a new film that documents both its omnipresence and its timelessness.
House Industries have a $50-off sale on until the 15th September, which includes the exceptional typefaces Chalet, Neutraface and Paperback. I wish I had enough spare cash to justify buying a set of one of these, they’re beautiful, versatile faces, and currently a bit of a bargain.
Helvetica: the DVD
The DVD includes the full 80-minute feature film, plus over 90 minutes of additional interviews with Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Hermann Zapf, and more. (The director Gary Hustwit says, “we basically edited 41 short interview segments, each around two to five minutes long. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll have an idea of the format of these.”)
NTSC Region 0, 16×9 anamorphic widescreen presentation, full-color booklet, English and German language subtitles. Release date: November 6. Pre-order now, you’ll save $5 and receive early shipping (a week before street date) and two love/hate Helvetica film buttons.
There’s also a limited edition 1000-run version that includes three letterpressed mini-posters, a color C-print of a still from the film (one of ten different stills) signed by Gary, two love/hate Helvetica buttons, and a letter of actual Helvetica metal type.
I’ve ordered my copy already!
DVD extra #1: Hermann Zapf on his work, Univers, Helvetica, and coffee (streaming Quicktime movie)
DVD extra #2: Helvetica DVD extra #2: Wim Crouwel on his “Proposal for a New Alphabet” (streaming Quicktime movie)
There are 38 more interviews like these on the DVD.
Ray Larabie makes fonts. He gives a lot of them away for free. He has a new website: FontSugar
Erik Spiekermann has an interesting post about a new typeface used by the German government on car numberplates. It has a specific design goal: make it difficult to alter any character to look like another. (E.g. convert a C into an O with black paint.)
BBC News has a good overview of the new £20 note. It has to be the ugliest British banknote I’ve ever seen. The front isn’t bad but the rear, oh my, where to start with this monstrosity?
What the hell is going on with that illustration in the centre? The guilloché behind it makes it far, far too busy, it makes my eyes hurt just to try and figure out what’s going on.
The profile portrait of Adam Smith is remarkably ugly; look at the previous 20’s portrait of Edward Elgar and scratch your head as to why they couldn’t come up with something more tasteful.
What’s going on with the stroke around the “£20” in the top right corner, and why has someone just peppered a load of EURion constellations around it with no effort to make them fit in?
Who was responsible for the punctuation of the horrible condensed sans text that reads “The division of labour…”, and since when did it become normal to end a sentence with a colon, only to follow it up with bracketed, uncapitalised and unpunctuated text? (Is that colon pointing at the design, or what?)
And finally, is that “Twenty Pounds” and “Bank of England” set in Bodoni? Now you’re just taking the piss…
Cartoonist Daryl Cagle points out that the LA Times resembles a ransom note, with a staggering 22 different fonts above the fold on the front page! via Veer.
Creative Review point out the recent redesign of German magazine PC Professionell by Spiekermann Partners. (The name may seem familiar because of famous typographer Erik Spiekermann.) It looks fantastic, eschewing the usual gaudy stock art-laden cover for a gorgeous type-driven approach. Here’s hoping it lasts!