DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Fonts & Typography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2006, 05:29 PM   #1
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default Book: Homage to Helvetica

I finally received my copy of Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, written, designed, and published by Lars Müller.

It is a fabulous little book (roughly 5 X 6.5 inches, an inch thick). It contains minimal text and hundreds of captured images of Helvetica in use — in print, on signs, in ads; in many languages — from all around the globe. There are small quotes scattered around the images but very little defense of the ubiquitous typeface. Maybe Helvetica’s ubiquity alone is the point.

From the back cover:
This book sings the praises of the shift worker and solo entertainer of typefaces, of its forgotten creator and all those who have contributed to its unparalleled international march of triumph over the past forty years. The designs gathered together here in honor of Helvetica have been created by superb designers and anonymous amateurs from all over the world. They present a unique panoply of this icon of modern design. Helvetica is not only the preferred typeface of leading professionals, it is also an all-time favorite among the multitude of codes and signals and commands that enliven urban life. Helvetica is the perfume of the city.
The book itself is junk; badly bound (my copy separated from the spine after half an hour of handling) and one of its not so cute features is that the buyer must cut all the pages by hand, as they were perforated but not trimmed. And it took forever to get — I ordered it three times, and the first two after weeks and weeks said they didn’t actually have it to sell. Finally I found this copy from a small dealer in NYC.)

But you know what? I am very glad to have it, and recommend it to anyone who loves, hates, or is equivocal about Helvetica. This book might change your mind.

The hardcover edition is out of print, but the publisher says a paperback is forthcoming.

I am attaching a spread (one of three) that shows a diverse collection of logos based on Helvetica, as well as a picture of the cover.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	hel_bk_cover.png
Views:	188
Size:	114.8 KB
ID:	525   Click image for larger version

Name:	hel_bk_spread.png
Views:	198
Size:	133.9 KB
ID:	526  

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2006, 04:00 AM   #2
dthomsen8
Member
 
dthomsen8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19130
Posts: 2,158
Default Love or hate Helvetica

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
But you know what? I am very glad to have it, and recommend it to anyone who loves, hates, or is equivocal about Helvetica. This book might change your mind.
Would you say that this book might change my mind in a favorable direction?

This is the kind of book that I would try to get from the Free Library of Philadelphia, and failing that, from Interlibrary Loan. I have been using the Central Library much more, now that my other half doesn't want me to buy more books. Should I make an effort to get the book, KT?
dthomsen8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2006, 06:39 AM   #3
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8
Would you say that this book might change my mind in a favorable direction? . . . Should I make an effort to get the book, KT?
Hmmm. Don’t know, actually.

We have already established that Helvetica (and Arial) are hard to read on screen. Learning to love it (or hate it) will not change that.

But there is something fascinating about Helvetica’s ubiquity, especially as so many designers claim to hate the face. I picked up the new New Yorker shortly after getting this little book, and I must have seen a dozen ads using Helvetica.

So if you can find it at your library, why not at least take a look (there isn’t much to read, really, and what there is is either huge or so tiny you can easily miss it. (Some of the captions and comments are set bizarrely in the same small type size as the photo credits, or maybe a hair larger.)

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2006, 07:31 AM   #4
donmcc
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Sarnia, Canada
Posts: 1,122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
The book itself is junk; badly bound
Ah yes, but they saved 25 cents in getting it printed at the lowest cost supplier.

I feel for the author, who's work is massacred by some production manager looking to save a few bucks on the job.
donmcc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by donmcc
Ah yes, but they saved 25 cents in getting it printed at the lowest cost supplier.

I feel for the author, who's work is massacred by some production manager looking to save a few bucks on the job.
I would be more sympathetic if the book had not been conceived of, designed, written, edited, and produced by the one man (so far as I can tell).

It includes images and comments from many others, but it is published by Lars Müller Publishers, so he gets the blame as well as credit for the interesting content.

I think I will have to have the binding repaired, if possible, as it is positively scary to open the book, let alone try to read it in any normal fashion. The not-so-perfect binding looks as if it will start shedding pages any second!

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
I finally received my copy of Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface, written, designed, and published by Lars Müller. . .

The book itself is junk . . .
I am glad to say that I got a copy of the paperback edition, and it is much better bound. In signatures. You can actually open it fully to see the whole spread. It even feels better.

In fact, I think it was born to be a paperback book — more appropriate to Helvetica, anyway.

It is $20 from William Stout Books. A nice little gift for yourself!

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
Michael Rowley
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ipswich (the one in England)
Posts: 5,105
Default

KT:

A nice little gift for yourself!

And the ISBN is?

   
__________________
Michael
Michael Rowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 05:25 PM   #8
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
And the ISBN is?
Hmmm. There are two:

ISBN 13: 978-3-03778-046-6 and 10: 3-03778-046-0

There is also a European distributor: Birkhäuser Publishers for Architecture; orders@birkhauser.ch

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2006, 07:22 AM   #9
Michael Rowley
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ipswich (the one in England)
Posts: 5,105
Default

KT:

SBN 13: 978-3-03778-046-6 and 10: 3-03778-046-0

Thank you. That's the first time I've seen a 13 digit ISBN, but I suppose we'll soon have to get used to them.

   
__________________
Michael
Michael Rowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2006, 03:48 PM   #10
Norman Hathaway
Member
 
Norman Hathaway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 259
Default

Lars is a brilliant publisher KT. You already own one of his other books- the Weingart tome. Tiny publisher in Switzerland. Have them send you a booklist, as there are other titles you would enjoy.

N
Norman Hathaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Helvetica - soon in a theater near you Howard White Fonts & Typography 3 04-12-2007 02:53 PM
Helvetica movie premiere ktinkel Fonts & Typography 3 03-14-2007 09:37 AM
Arial and Helvetica iamback Fonts & Typography 44 01-03-2007 03:05 PM
Now: Helvetica, the movie ktinkel Fonts & Typography 4 10-26-2006 06:40 AM
InDesign CS2 doesn't recognize fonts - Helvetica! bmann Fonts & Typography 5 06-30-2006 01:06 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.