Typographers react to client needs, not Mac perfection

Jim Davies has obviously not quite seen beyond the horizon of Helvetica (Feature, DW 9 September). What is he talking about, type designers reacting to two things: corporate homogeneity and slick Apple Macintosh graphic perfection? What a load of tosh.

Jim Davies has obviously not quite seen beyond the horizon of Helvetica (Feature, DW 9 September). What is he talking about, type designers reacting to two things: corporate homogeneity and slick Apple Macintosh graphic perfection? What a load of tosh.

Much of the type used in corporate communications is not that recent. Normally, I can see Helvetica, Helvetica again, then Frutiger and Akzidenz Grotesk. There is obviously a need for refined type that is legible and fulfils the requirements of the client. Type designers have reacted to that, designing type that is unique in subtle ways; type that does not scream, but just sits there and is quietly appreciated.

Several designs come to mind: Miles Newlyn’s type for 3 and the Inland Revenue, Jason Smith’s work for the Post Office and our own for the Land Registry, Telewest and others. These are instances of custom work, but I can equally point out fresh and contemporary designs of off-the-shelf type: Jason Smith’s Clerkenwell (featured on the same spread), Jeremy Tankard’s designs, The Foundry and, again, our own among many others.

Handwritten lettering certainly has its place in design. It is appropriate to some aspects of communications, as much as Helvetica is.

Bruno Maag

Managing director, Dalton Maag

Chairman, Typographic Circle

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