Almost 50 years since it was first announced, the Helvetica Compressed suite of typefaces has been re-envisioned for digital use. Designed in 1966, by Matthew Carter, for phototypesetting, the three original typefaces have been immune to changing style or fads. The remarkable collection of designs continues to be used for advertising, packaging and other venues where a commanding design and economy of space is required. With typography showing up on more and more small screens, however, it became obvious that the faces should be updated.
When Linotype first asked Carter to craft the Helvetica Compressed designs, characters had to be drawn within a coarse, 18-unit system, as seen in the image to the right. Every letter was limited to being designed to fit with one to eighteen units; this limited the number of typefaces that could be designed to very narrow proportions.
Drawn by Monotype designers to complement the Neue Helvetica family, the Neue Helvetica Compressed collection of typefaces benefits from 8 weights that range from ultra light to black – mirroring those in the Neue Helvetica family and rounding out the quintessential sans serif design.
Timeless and neutral, the Neue Helvetica family is now even more versatile.