Helvetica

Last weekend, I wanted to rent the documentary “Helvetica” but alas, it wasn’t available at the local Blockbuster so I was forced to purchase it online and now I’m patiently awaiting for the UPS man like a puppy dog waits for his owner to come home.  You see, I’m a typography geek… just love the entire history of typography and all the wonderful old typesetting machines that are now obsolete. About 7 or so years ago I was teaching typography to a group of students pursuing their associates degree in Graphic Design and we took a field trip to a local printing company that has been around for decades. While they have updated their equipment you will find (as we did during our trip) some wonderful great old typesetting equipment, including lead type and an old Linotype machine, and I mean old! Along with this great equipment was a very kind elderly gentlemen who actually operated this equipment (Yes, they still used it for some printing jobs!). He must have been in his 80s and we were told that when he retires so does the equipment, since he is the only one who knows how to use it.  Anyway, I was in my glory to see such history.   I’m sure if you ask any graphic designer their top three fonts they will rattle them off in seconds since there always seem to be those three-five that are our go-to fonts. Helvetica is certainly one of mine and with the huge selection within the entire family there’s a font for every use, Extended, Condensed, Black or Light. I love them all. In fact, just today as I was putting the finishing touches on the DDA SEM web site design I picked a lovely bold condensed version of Helvetica for a headline title and right before that as I was putting the finishing touches on a package design for a novelty product I selected a light condensed version of Helvetica. It’s versatility is remarkable!