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  • # December 12, 2012 at 1:09 am

    We’re working on a site re-design at the company I work at and our designer wants the entire site (logos, headers, content, etc.) to be in helvetica. I happen to like helvetica, but I’m nervous about it making the site look dated. Is that a legitimate concern or am I over-reacting?

    # December 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Helvetica is pretty popular with the young’uns these days so it will look modern and appeal to the younger generation from what I’ve seen.

    # December 12, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Hey, if the client wants it that’s their decision.

    By all means express, gently, your concerns but in the end we do what we are told.

    # December 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

    @muffakaa – I know your pain, man. I am currently working on a website for a client that has his own design, and wants _nothing_ changing on it whatsoever!

    The design IMO is quite terrible and he keeps saying _”I hope it can make a great piece for the portfolio on your website”_ and to be honest, I don’t think I’m going to even put it on there.

    Like @paulie_d said, as developers, we’ve basically got to do what we are told and if it makes the client happy, then we’ve just got to go along with it, unfortunately in some cases like this one.

    # December 12, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I feel that saying Helvetica is old-fashioned could be equated with claiming the color red is dated…
    I have been witness to instances where, say, a Gothic typeface has been put to great use. It certainly didn’t feel dated.

    Should you want to take a look at some extraordinary typographical invention, check Vaughan Oliver’s body of work. He is the greatest graphical designer ever, a true living genius.

    # December 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Helvetica is a modern sans-serif but it is overly-used. Personally, I find that Helvetica lacks personality but that could just be due to seeing it all over the place. Then again, I think Georgia is one of the best typefaces ever made. Certainly there are plenty of other ones you could use. I wouldn’t automatically just pick one that is most common. That’s just a no-brainer. The site will just look generic with no appeal.

    # December 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @PLNR Depends on how it’s used and what other faces you’re combining it with.

    @jamy_za It certainly is. It’s one of the best typefaces that render incredibly well on screen.

    My current favorite serif is Harriet by Okay Type foundry. Webfonts coming early 2013 via Webtype.

    # December 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm


    My point’s exactly. A teacher of mine had me design an entire paper on Times New Roman. I modestly say it came out wonderful.

    Composition trumps individual font choices. Helvetica can be put to dreadful, pristine and anything in between uses.

    # December 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm


    Too bad you couldn’t have picked something more recent. Although, learning about older typefaces is a great learning experience.

    Gothic typefaces are not necessarily “outdated”. It’s just an old term for sans-serif.

    # December 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    @muffakaa– If you have the ability to voice your opinion to your superior(s) then do it. If you feel that a different font choice is important, come up with some alternatives and have some reasons why you think it should be different.

    At the very least: your opinion will fall of deaf ears

    At the very most: you’ll be taken more seriously, and your thoughts will improve on the design


    # December 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I agree with @ben_boomer 100%. Give reasons as to why another choice would be better (legibility, appearance, etc.). Make sure to back up your opinions with facts if there any.

    # December 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Also, web fonts sometimes list similar font sets to specific (in your case, Helvetica) font faces. Here is a list I pulled up front TypeKit:

    # December 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks everyone for your input. I do trust our designer and 4 years ago I would have been thrilled to just use Helvetica but maybe now I’m just wanting to embed some fonts. I think the solution will be to suggest some other font effects, especially for headings, to make the site look modern. After that I’ll decide if I want to suggest another font.

    # December 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    @ben_boomer -that list is great! thank you

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