Helvetica for the 21st Century

by fontspace

Even if you know nothing about typefaces, you know Helvetica. It's the frontman of fonts, and 57 years after its creation, it's getting a makeover. 

First, a bit of history from an article published on The Daily Gazette: Helvetica was designed by Max Miedinger, a Swiss man who was commissioned to update German 19th century fonts. It became explosively popular in the 1970s, but the font wasn't perfect. As great as it was for advertisements and headlines, it wasn't so pleasant to read in small form. Because of the flaws, a team of typographers were commissioned to make an updated version. 

This led to Unica. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right. The company commissioning the font was going out of business, and the typographic world was going through massive changes now that desktop publishing was hitting the mainstream. Unica became a footnote. 

In 2012, Monotype director Dan Rhatigan stumbled on box that contained the photographic film masters for Unica. 

Mr. Rhatigan shared the masters with his team, and Monotype designer Toshi Omagari took on the Resurrection Unica project, staying loyal to the original design but updating it for the modern world. 

And so, Unica 2.0 is born.

How will this impact people? Not very much on the surface level. For regular people, the fonts probably look indistinguishable, but "to designers like Rhatigan and Omagari," the differences are clear as day. "Even looking at the film masters" Rhatiganhe "could see 'all the detail, all the intention that was in there.'"

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