Know Your Design Roots: A Brief History of Helvetica

Helvetica In Motion from Positive Pictures on Vimeo.

This is HelveticaWhether your interest lies in print or motion graphics, you can’t expect to be a graphic designer without learning about Helvetica, one of the most ‘famous’ and commonly used typefaces of all time. Developed by Max Miedinger with Edüard Hoffmann in 1957 for the Haas Type Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland, the Helvetica typeface became an instant classic with its simple, no-nonsence style during a time when hand-lettering style typefaces was popular. Fueled by advertising agencies selling this new, legible san-serif design style to their clients, Helvetica quickly appeared in corporate logos, signage for transportation systems, fine art prints, and myriad of other uses worldwide. Books and even a full-lenth feature documentary titled Helvetica have been dedicated to the use and history of the Helvetica typeface, and anyone serious about pursuing a career in graphic design should understand its relevance and impact on modern design. To read more about the history of Helvetica, click here.

Recognize the logos below? They all use variations of the Helvetica typeface. For even more examples, click here to read 40 Excellent Logos Created with Helvetica.










Do you LOVE design? Check out FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s program for Graphic Design where you can learn all aspects of print media, including typography, digital photography and publication/layout design, and FIDM’s Digital Media program where you can learn editing, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling & animation, and sound design.

Visit our main site, to view multiple galleries of breathtaking graphic design and digital media, created by FIDM Alumni.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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