Helvetica and Lupton

Helvitica can be extremely powerful. I personally think this has everything to do with its simplicity. The fact it is so simple gives it a unique way to stand out. I never realized how many companies use Helvitica in their logos. Almost every single company that comes to mind right now uses it: Target, Crate and Barrel, American Apparel, Toyota, you name it. Yet, they all have a different feel. I bet you didn’t even know they were all the same until I told you. It is difficult for the innocent bystander like myself, and many of you, who has little to no background in design to recognize this. Each logo is Helvitica, but each weight and kerning is different. These simple techniques can create a plain Helvitica word into a unique graphic expression that conveys a specific point. For this reason, I tend to have the same feelings toward the typeface as many of the designers we met in the movie. Ill admit it makes me a little giddy inside.

In regards to Thinking With Type, I found there to be some interesting points made about the use of text in design I have never thought about before. In the chapter Letter, the part that stood out to me the most was about scale. I find it interesting how influential size can be in attracting the eye’s attention. Lupton explains how “changes in scale help create visual contrast, movement, and depth as well as express hierarchies of importance.” It amazes me how powerful size and scale can be in conveying a message simply because of the way our eyes react to the world around us and register importance. But what really stood out to me was his point that, “scale is relative.” It all depends on the space and the objects around the subject. Therefore design is relative, which makes every single element important.

In Text, I found it interesting when Lupton said, “One of design’s most humane functions is, in actuality, to help readers avoid reading.” This thought has never crossed my mind. But it makes so much sense! We are inherently lazy and don’t want to take the time to read things. But designers are able to give us the information we need in the most appealing and convenient visual format. I think that this fact alone makes graphic design a pretty powerful element in society – one that is often overlooked and ignored.


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