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Learn about Swiss Style through the typeface Helvetica. See how the Swiss ideals and design principles are so clearly reflected in Helvetica, and how this world could be sans—without—helvetica.

Helvetica was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduoard Hoffman in the Haas Type Foundry of Switzerland.

Helvetica is based on one of the first widely used sans serif fonts, Aksidenz Grotesk. Helvetica was first called Neue Haas Grotesk.

In 1960, it was renamed by the German type company Stempel, “Helvetica”, which is Latin for Swiss.

Thus, Helvetica is classified as a grotesque sans serif.

Helvetica is the most widely used sans serif typeface and its family of typestyles is very diverse.

Helvetica Neue was developed in 1983. Its characters have more structurally unified heights and widths, its numbers have increased spacing and its punctuation marks are heavier. Thus it has improved legibility.

In 2007, the documentary film, “Helvetica”, came out for Helvetica's 50th anniversary and showed a history of the ubiquitous typeface along with different viewpoints and interviews.

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swiss theory

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design principles

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sans helvetica!