Saturday, November 15, 2008

"The Meaning of Type"

There were a few things I found interesting in the article, The Meaning of Type by Steven Heller. Most notably, Hitler's campaign posters.  His posters were deemed as modern with the use of the silhouette and sans serif font, yet just a couple years later modern art and typography was considered "Kulturbolchevismus."  I think Hitler should have done his research before he criticized Bernhard, seeing he wasn't actually Jewish.  Then what got me again, was the how Hitler banned the use of blackletter typeface.

Another thing I found interesting was the paragraph on Helvetica.  I know that it was created by a Swiss designer, but I never thought that it's origins would help promote neutrality and cleanliness so much.  The waste management company wanting to use Helvetica to clean up their image, and the Soviet Union using it label for it's export items.  What I found most intriguing about the use of Helvetica is the how an inner city civil rights group used it to appeal to middle class, white Americans.  Who decided that that specific group of people were attracted to Helvetica?
When looking at Avant Garde's alphabet a capital ligatures, I was almost amused.  Some of them are actually interesting to look at, while other letters seem to bulky.  I can see why the typeface would have been widely used in the 1970's, but it's also sad to see it overused and abused.

sources:; issue 50

1 comment:

gdhistory anderson becker carter said...

I love Helvetica for its beauty and its universality. When people ask me what graphic designers can do, I use Helvetica as an example. I mention Helvetica's wide usage all over the world in airports, transportation signs, and logos. People that are graphic design savvy can easily relate to Helvetica's many applications because they see it everyday. Its easy to connect with because people see it everyday.