28 July 2021
Developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger with input from Eduard Hoffmann, this typeface, very quickly, became one of the most popular typefaces of the 20th century.Originally named Neue Haas Grotesk, it was changed to Helvetica which is "Swiss" in Latin. This capitalised on Switzerland's reputation as a centre of ultra-modern graphic design and helped to sell the typeface abroad.Helvetica provided something that designers wanted: a neutral typeface apparently devoid of personality, that had great clarity, and could be used on a wide variety of signage. Indeed it's featured on signage from the New York subway to previous South Korean and Japanese road signs.Helvetica has also been used for countless logos (please see the image above).Versions exist for Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Khmer, and Vietnamese alphabets. Chinese faces have been developed to complement Helvetica.Derivative designs based on Helvetica were rapidly developed, taking advantage of the lack of copyright protection in the phototypesetting font market of the 1960s onward. One could argue that such a trend has remained ongoing.As you may know from our previous newsletter, Arial was created for IBM to substitute for Helvetica—without IBM having to pay Linotype for a Helvetica license on its printers.IBM used Helvetica Neue as its corporate typeface until 2017. Like many big corporations, IBM now has its own bespoke typeface, saving over $1m annually on licensing fees.If you have a Mac, it probably came with Helvetica installed and licensed. This shot Helvetica into the hands of everyone, not only designers, helping to maintain its popularity and relevance over the decades.Here at MOTHandRUST, we don't tend to use Helvetica, as it is so overused—the American designer and design historian Paul Shaw puts it best: "Helvetica is an invasive and drug-resistant species that may never be eradicated. Even designers who don't often use it in their own work take pride in the fact that it is such a persistent cultural icon."
9 June 2021We are currently working on a fascinating Instagram project, perhaps you or someone you know could add their voice?From where we are, graphic design from around the world is not very accessible—and we want to change that. We find our sources of inspiration tend to be dominated by the US and Europe, focus on particular trends and can be rather samey-samey. In an age of globalisation, we want to offer a broader perspective, interest, and appreciation of different cultures and voices from around the world.We are looking for graphic designers, please contact me at email@example.com to learn more and join!
10 May 2021
Since 1882, the Actors' Benevolent Fund (ABF) has supported actors and stage managers experiencing hardship due to injury, illness, or old age. It has a very proud history and has been under Royal Patronage (currently Prince Charles) for over 89 years.
The ABF came to us for help raising its profile. As we worked with the them, it became clear that telling its story, which spans over 135 years, was one of the best ways to do this. Effective online reading was achieved with concise copy. Sections break up the text and large quotes pull the reader in. A progress bar at the top indicates where the reader is on the page.
We also developed a site that is much more straightforward for both the ABF and their audience to use. The application processes are accessible to all applicants whether by mail, phone or online. To encourage reaching out for help, a chat box is included. A successful online shop helps increase revenue.
The site is flexible and has easily evolved over time. Most recently, a 2020 Emergency Grant online application was added, as well as a Christmas video featuring well-known British actors—even Tom Hardy! (Our favourite).
actorsbenevolentfund.co.ukPosted in: digital
23 April 2021
Project assets and other visuals are saved out in many different file formats. Understanding these enables our clients correctly save, send, and manage files, but this is not always easy!
Therefore, we have prepared the PDF (= universal file format) below that clearly sums everything up at-a-glance. We have been told that this is a useful reference...
It is always also really useful to understand that all file types can be classified one of two ways:
Raster images are made up of pixels, or little squares of colour. The pixels have a defined size depending on the resolution/quality of your image: high resolution has more pixels than low resolution. It is impossible to resize raster images without compromising their resolution/quality if you are moving from a smaller to a larger file.
Vector images resolve this resizing issue. They are constructed with proportional formulas instead of pixels. A vector image can be made as large as you like without looking pixelated and without compromising the resolution/quality.
Posted in: design
9 April 2021
The "Caslon," typeface was designed by William Caslon I (1692–1766,) Britain's first and most celebrated typefounder. Caslon is used to set the quote above.
Ironically, rather than using an American font, the first printed version of the United States Declaration of Independence is set in Caslon. This may have been the influence of Benjamin Franklin. Not only was he a scientist and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America—he was also a printer. He loved the fonts made by William Caslon so much that he hardly used anything else.
Caslon has been revived at various times over the past 300 years, and it continues to be a standard in typography even to this day. Here at MOTHandRUST, it is one of our favourites. It is perfect for something timeless; it will never look dated. It is versatile and can work for most applications. For a more current look, it pairs nicely with modern typefaces. And it’s just beautiful.