Tuesday, April 03, 2007


The International Herald Tribune is the most ubiquitous English-language newspaper around this city, not surprisingly as it is published here. It is a thin, lightweight affair with a faux-earnest authorial style familiar from American papers, given occasional ballast by syndicated articles and columns from the Boston Globe and the New York Times. But the Trib does have its better qualities too, most notably a good design section - a rarity in English-language newspapers - and, from yesterday's paper is a nice piece on the Helvetica typeface, which is the subject of an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art and which celebrates its fiftieth birthday shortly. Helvetica is most familiar from the logos of companies such as Lufthansa, American Airlines, American Apparel and from the signage for the New York Subway, and I myself own a favourite tee-shirt, designed by Angry of Dublin, which is emblazoned with it, to good effect. Those that know me will also know the tee-shirt. Long live Helvetica. The best thing to come out of Switzerland since the cuckoo clock (well, maybe since Le Corbusier).