Helvetica is one of the most famous and popular typefaces in the world. It lends an air of lucid efficiency to any typographic message with its clean, no-nonsense shapes. The original typeface was called Neue Haas Grotesk, and was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger for the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas Type Foundry) in Switzerland. In 1960 the name was changed to Helvetica (an adaptation of “Helvetia”, the Latin name for Switzerland).
Helvetica is among the most widely used sans serif typefaces and has been a popular choice for corporate logos, including those for 3M, American Airlines, American Apparel, BMW, Jeep, JCPenney, Lufthansa, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, Orange, Target, Toyota, Panasonic, Motorola, Kawasaki and Verizon Wireless. Apple has incorporated Helvetica in the iOS® platform and the iPod® device. Helvetica is widely used by the U.S. government, most notably on federal income tax forms, and NASA selected the type for the space shuttle orbiters. Over the years, Helvetica™ was expanded to include many different weights, but these were not coordinated with each other. In 1983, D. Stempel AG redesigned and digitized the “Neue Helvetica™” typeface for Linotype and made it a self-contained font family.
Helvetica World: font for global communications
At the beginning of the 21st Century, Linotype again released an updated design of Helvetica, the Helvetica World typeface family. This family is much smaller in terms of its number of fonts, but each font makes up for this in terms of language support. Helvetica World supports a number of languages and writing systems from all over the globe, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, and Vietnamese scripts. It is available in four weights: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic
Helvetica World, an update to the classic Helvetica design using the OpenType font format, contains the following Microsoft code pages:
1252 Latin 1,
1250 Latin 2 Eastern,
1257 Windows Baltic,
1258 Windows Vietnamese,
as well as a mixture of box drawing element glyphs and mathematical symbols & operators.
In total, each weight of Helvetica World contains 1866 different glyph characters!