Neue Haas Grotesk
Christian Schwartz’s authentic Neue Haas Grotesk
The original metal Neue Haas Grotesk
™ would, in the late 1950s become Helvetica
®. But, over the years, Helvetica would move away from its roots. Some of the features that made Neue Haas Grotesk so good were expunged or altered owing to comprimises dictated by technological changes. Christian Schwartz
says “Neue Haas Grotesk was originally produced for typesetting by hand in a range of sizes from 5 to 72 points, but digital Helvetica has always been one-size-fits-all, which leads to unfortunate compromises.” Schwartz’s digital revival sets the record straight, so to speak. What was lost in Neue Haas Grotesk’s transition to the digital Helvetica of today, has been resurrected in this faithful digital revival.
|The graphic illustrates the different appearances of Helvetica when produced by various typesetting systems|
The Regular and Bold weights of Helvetica were redesigned for the Linotype machine; those alterations remained when Helvetica was adapted for phototypesetting. During the 1980s, the family was redrawn and released as Neue Helvetica. Schwartz’s revival of the original Helvetica, his new Neue Haas Grotesk, comes complete with a number of Max Miedinger
’s alternates, including a flat-legged R.
Eight display weights, from Thin to Black, plus a further three weights drawn specifically for text make this much more than a revival – it’s a versatile, well-drawn grot with all the right ingredients. The Thin weight (originally requested by Bloomberg Businessweek) is very fine, very thin indeed, and reveals the true skeleton of these iconic letterforms.