Funny the buzz about Helvetica lately. Over at Veer they had a “rant or rave” about Helvetica contest. Below are the winning entries. What does it say that the rant entry is so much better than the rave entry?
Best “I Love Helvetica” entry: Workhorse by Negar Nasoohi
My trusty little workhorse of a font,
Too often your quiet elegance goes unnoticed.
Past your no-nonsense exterior lies a supple core of gentle curves that complement your strict angles and crisp edges. Who will gape in admiration at this perfectly balanced marvel of human creation? Not the hurried grocer who slaps you on his window to announce an okra sale. Not the jolly fifth grade math teacher who uses your numerals to test young minds. Definitely not the irate smoker who glares at the sign forbidding her to light and inhale. No, few see the delicate vibrance of your versatile and timeless beauty. But for those of us that do, you are priceless.
Best “I Hate Helvetica” entry: Context by Derek Walker
The first marks, cut in clay, linear clues
Surviving, phoenix-like, through the fire,
Were just a starting point — papyrus bruised
Until a sheet was fixed, the calfskin quires
Stretched on a rack, their texture scraped away
With metal knives, after the skin was flayed.
And finally came paper, pulped and pressed;
These arts entwining trauma with finesse.
And quills and nibs, they scratched the surface;
Movable press would stamp its forms in place,
Hot slugs of metal cast for just that purpose.
It took so much abuse to leave a trace.
With this violence making way for bit and byte,
Helvetica steps in to wound our sight.