The use of a well-defined grid to organize text, image and elements as a strong underlying framework was extremely important in the Swiss movement. White—or negative—space was also valued as a strong tool that can make a bold statement.

If inspected closely, Helvetica seems to fit within a grid. Many of its letterforms have almost identical x-widths and heights. Also, there was attention to the spaces inside and between letters during its construction. Both of these qualities make it balanced and harmonious.

principle #2:

GRID & SPACE

Grid & Space Image 1

Modular grids are made up of columns and rows, and are great tools to organize elements on a page.

Grid & Space Image 2

The letterforms of Helvetica have similar widths. Because of this the typeface seems to be constructed on a grid.

Grid & Space Image 3

It is common to fear white space and fill the page with elements and content.

Grid & Space Image 4

See the power of white space. Fear no more—use of the rule of thirds (the white space takes up about 2/3 of the page) also makes this layout more powerful. In addition, this is an example of reducing the amount of text in design.

Grid & Space Image 5

Shapes are created with the negative spaces inside and between Helvetica's letterforms. The teardrop-shaped counter (inside part) of the lowercase 'a' is a distinguishing feature of this typeface.