You see it all over, yet barely notice it. From Crate & Barrel to Target, from Toyota to Lufthansa Airways, to the New York City subway signage – Helvetica has been everywhere for the better part of the last half-century.
Whether you love it or hate it, brands the world over have chosen Helvetica because of its versatility and approachability. The original Helvetica family was first developed in 1957 by typeface designer Max Miedinger. A product of theGrotesque type movement of the nineteenth century, it was based on the characters of Berthold’s Akzidenz Grotesk. It then received its first revision in 1983 – nearly 30 years after its inception – with the introduction of Helvetica Neue for the digital era of the 1980’s.
This past spring, Monotype, released Helvetica Now as a set of three families – the latest revision. Five years in the making, Helvetica Now has been “redrawn and refit”for easier readability in the digital space. With such an ever-changing design and media landscape, Monotype’s designers knew a change was needed in order to remain a competitive design choice. The new families now include Helvetica Now Text for everyday applications, Display for large headlines or billboards, and Micro, for tiny sizes on small screens and wearables like smart watches.
Even though it has a more modern look, Helvetica Now can be paired with classic typefaces, such as elegant, high-contrast display fonts like Didot or FF Tisa. And, while incredibly readable, the variable families included in this suite also stand alone.
Reimagining brands is part of our DNA. As we went through our own agency look and tone, we wanted something that would be refreshing and relevant, yet timeless. We found that Helvetica Now perfectly mirrors our belief in transformation and we will now be featuring it in our new branding.
Be sure to check back for a look at REGROUP’s rebranding initiative, debuting within the coming months. Also, to learn more about the history, and controversy, of Helvetica from the world’s most influential letterers and typographers, check out the acclaimed documentary, Helvetica.