The Helvetica project


The typeface known as Helvetica is one of the most widespread and recognizable typefaces in the world. In order to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, Gary Hustwit produced and directed a film called "Helvetica" about the birth of this well-known typeface. It is a documentary that explores how typography and graphic design have influenced our lives.

Helvetica was produced by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman in 1957 for the Haas Type Foundry in Munchestein, Switzerland. It had all the qualities required in order to bring about change in the prevalent attitudes regarding design and its possible uses.

At first called Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface was renamed in 1960 with the more international-sounding Helvetica, which is the Latin name for Switzerland.


Helvetica became a classic because of the clarity and simplicity of its forms. As a neutral typeface, it was a very important tool with which designers could express their ideas.

The Helvetica Project was the subject of an exhibit that ran from October 21st to 28th, 2008 at the Laforet Museum in Tokyo. The exhibit was organized by Petit Grand Publishing.

The exhibit space, located in the Harajuku district for more than twenty years, has always been a hotbed of cultural activity and a point of reference for new trends, thanks to the events that it sponsors. Any occasion that celebrates what is essential in a conceptual space meant to give birth to great ideas must include Moleskine, which participated in the project by producing two special notebooks.

helvetica_2.jpgThey were in two different colors, red and black, with graphics by the famous team of motion graphic designers Groovisions. The interior of each notebook has a silk-screen page dedicated to the history of the Helvetica typeface. The notebooks can be purchased on-line on the exhibit web-site and in the better design shops of Tokyo