Image from Fontshop.com
I got a link to this great story in the FontShop newsletter this week. Graphic designers know all about this, but if you're learning or just interested in graphic design or typography it's well worth a look. The article, by typographer Indra Kupferschmid, gives examples of how to create different moods in your work by careful choice of typefaces to combine with Helvetica. Amongst the looks she discusses are neutral, informal, technical and classy.
Helvetica, believe it or not, is quite controversial! Many designers love it and use it extensively, mainly because they consider it a communicator's typeface - it's very clear, usable and easy to read. Others think it's really boring, a safe choice when you don't want to take any risks in your work ... The wonderful documentary Helvetica by Gary Hustwit explores usage of Helvetica in our surroundings, its history and development, and the controversy surrounding it, via interviews with well-known graphic designers on both sides of the divide. It's beautifully photographed, has a great soundtrack, and it's funny (especially the extra interviews at the end). I highly recommend it (and I have one copy left!).