Helvetica Has Frozen Over

There's a list of fonts I always try to avoid using, and some that I inevitably must succumb to using, Helvetica is one of those imposed ones.  Although this isn't one of the fonts I thoroughly despise such as the reprehensible Comic Sans, I just have an aversion to things that are saturated and overly used.

As a designer, artist, writer and appreciator of typographical art, I understand the cleanliness and versatility of the font and in a fight between Helvetica, Times New Roman or Arial, I'll choose the first, but still there's something about the font that renders second hand to me.  Perhaps it's because many of my clients who have branded their companies based on this font all have done so because big named corporations such as BMW, Target, American Apparel, Energizer and so many more have also adopted the widely loved font.  The same way Microsoft Word made Times New Roman 12pt famous among students who write essays, Helvetica has been made famous by logos and companies world wide. 

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about how in college we both watched this 2 hour documentary about how Helvetica was created and the history of branding that is in homage to this simply clean font.  At the end of it all, our final reaction was how we allowed two hours of hour life to be dedicated to a single font.  In looking at the many logos that use Helvetica, the magic of the font reveals that it's varyiing text styles can offer an infinite of different possibilities.  For example, Skype, Jeep and Crate & Barrel's logo though carry the same family type-face, each have a different appeal. 

In rebellion, I'll admit that I've used Myriad Pro in place of Helvetica.  I still stand firm that a logo shouldn't just be a typeface standing alone, because you run the risk of having the same exact look as another company using the same font.  In addition, using a simple font on it's own can just look so... sterile. 

In art and design, rarely anything remains constant, so who knows maybe one day I'll be writing about how Verdana is cats meow!

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