The Helvetica font is celebrating its 50th birthday. You've probably seen it a thousand times today. Why?
It is sans serif. There are no wiggly bits at the end of the letters. It has smooth, clean lines, and an unobtrusive geometry that almost suggests it was designed not to stand out.
Lars Mueller is a Helvetica devotee. He has published a book, Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, and recently donated an original set of lead lettering to a Helvetica exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
"It has a modern attitude which lines up with the aesthetic premises of the 1950s and 60s. Helvetica is a corporate typeface, but on the other hand it's the favourite of hairdressers and kebab shops. It is the butter on the bread."
"It's durable. It comes from natural design forms. It doesn't have an expression of fashion. It has very clear lines and characters, it looks like a very serious typeface," says Frank Wildenberg, managing director of Linotype, the German firm that owns the font.
And not mention easy on the cheaper displays.