I have a choice of literally hundreds of fonts on my Mac and countless weights within each font – the list scrolls tirelessly down my screen. But why do we designers choose the fonts we do – bothering to get past any font beginning with ‘A’ – and why does it matter? After all, surely a mix of Arial and Comic Sans would keep everyone happy?! 🙂

To start with I select a font that is going to sit with the personality of the brand I’m working with. Even if the typography is only 20% of the overall design, it still has a massive impact on how the design is perceived overall. Alongside this, an additional criteria may be a font that is also clean and legible with varying weights to give me flexibility across headings, body text, quotes and ‘pull-out’ text. A font that will look great in print and on-line.

We have sans serif fonts, slab serif fonts, old style fonts, script, decorative, hand-written…and the variants goes on but so often I end up back with the popular classics, which is why I was so interested to hear that the good old Swiss font Helvetica has been working on an update…

Meet Helvetica Now, this is the first refresh since 1982’s Neue Helvetica. Taking four years and consisting of 48 fonts and three optical sizes, Helvetica Now is the result of painstaking and detailed work that redrew every single character. Designed with legibility in mind, Helvetica Now aims to help the branding challenges in the digital age.

Building on the simplicity, clarity, and global appeal of the typeface’s past, Helvetica Now aims to be more sophisticated than its predecessors.

“Helvetica Now is the tummy-tuck, facelift and lip filler we’ve been wanting, but were too afraid to ask for,” said Abbott Miller, Partner at Pentagram. “It offers beautifully drawn alternates to some of Helvetica’s most awkward moments, giving it a surprisingly thrillingly contemporary character.”

So…now, take a look now and see now, if Helvetica Now, is the font for you…NOW!

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Read our guide to Professional Services Branding in the 21st Century