Helvetica is 50 years old + more….

I did not sleep Monday until 8PM.

I was up “worryking” over my finances–i have a new budget which i would like to think i am committed to finally.

I was in bed by 3PM but I was not asleep.

NJN news was on and they mention that MOMA has an exhibit on Helvetica–it is 50 years old. I decided that i wanted to go to the exhibit.


I look up Helvetica on wikipedia at work:

“Helvetica is widely used internationally in nations using the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets. Versions have been drawn in Greek, Hebrew, and Japanese. Variants of the typeface are used in the Canadian government?s corporate identity program. Helvetica is so widely used in signs, television news identities, and names of numerous consumer products in the United States as to sometimes appear generic. The logos of companies like 3M, AGFA, BASF, American Airlines, American Apparel, BMW, Crate & Barrel, Lufthansa, Fendi, Knoll, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, Muji, Nestle, Panasonic, Parmalat, Saab Automobile (Helvetica 83 Heavy Extended), Samsung, Seagate, Staples, Target, Texaco, and hundreds of other major corporations use Helvetica. The U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Form (1040) uses the Helvetica font family.

Helvetica is a default typeface for the Mac OS system. The typeface Nimbus Sans (one of the default typefaces for GNU/Linux) is based on Helvetica, as is Bitstream?s Swiss 721 BT (one of the default typefaces for BeOS), which even bases its name on the same theme. Helvetica is used for the subway and mass transit systems in Boston, Chicago, and Washington DC. Helvetica recently replaced Akzidenz Grotesk as the typeface used for signs for New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority subway system (although Akzidenz can still be seen on older signs).”

Among the companies that use it in its logo is Muji. I jump to the entry on Muji and read:

“…MUJI is distinguished by its design minimalism, emphasis on recycling, avoidance of waste in production and packaging, and no-logo policy.

The name MUJI is derived from the first part of Mujirushi Ry?hin, translated as No Brand Quality Goods on MUJI’s European website.”

I like that business model. Idea for my store….

The wiki also points to this article by William Gibson on Japan:

“Muji is the perfect example of the sort of thing I’m thinking of, because it calls up a wonderful Japan that doesn’t really exist. A Japan of the mind, where even toenail-clippers and plastic coat-hangers possess a Zen purity: functional, minimal, reasonably priced. I would very much like to visit the Japan that Muji evokes. I would vacation there and attain a new serenity, smooth and translucent, in perfect counterpoint to natural fabrics and unbleached cardboard. My toiletries would pretend to be nothing more than what they are, and neither would I.”



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