Typographic Trends in American Retail

To say that Helvetica is one of the most widely used fonts in the world is a bit of an understatement. Since its creation in 1957 by a Swiss designer under the name “Neue Haas Grotesk” it has exploded in popularity among designers & home users alike. In the early 60’s, the name was changed to make the typeface more universally appealing. Leaving us with the ‘Helvetica’ we are familiar with today.

But as much as we love the simplicity of this sans-serif font, the more it infiltrates our graphics & media the question arises – is helvetica becoming a little too…monotonous? In an age when daring & thoughtful designs are so generally accepted – the majority of retailers are taking a more simple approach.

According to ‘Fortune’ Magazine’s Fortune 500 list – 15 of our top 20 retailers use Helvetica either in their logo or as a main component in their marketing campaigns, as you can see from the chart below.

Top companies listed from the “Specialty Retailers”,
General Merchandisers”, and “Food and Drug Stores
industries in Fortune 500, listed in alphabetical order.

What do you think of helvetica’s wide-spread in the world of marketing?

Does it work on such a wide scale, or is there still something to be said for originality in branding?

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