Happy Birthday Helvetica!

Yep, for those who don’t get out enough (we call them Anoraks here), the BBC news that the Helvetica typeface is 50 comes as the ideal occasion to break out the Mac and Cheese and throw caution to the wind (how about that for mixed cultural metaphors?)…

Image referenced from Wikipedia. All Rights Acknowledged.

Looks like there is widespread internationalization support for the font face too. Wikipedia tells us:

Helvetica is among the most widely used sans-serif typefaces internationally. Versions exist for the Roman, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Greek alphabets. Unicode character sets include special characters and accents for Hindi, Urdu, Khmer, and Vietnamese. Variants of character-based writing systems including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean have been developed to complement Helvetica.

Naturally, not having copies of the great books by Bill Hall or Ken Lunde easily to hand, I can’t check right now.

Besides, this birthday really is exciting and the most important aspect. I feel it’s crucial for everyone involved in globalization to acknowledge the contribu….(I’m sorry, I seem to have fallen asleep while typing this).

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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