from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Fonts and Coffee

Helvetica Light Type

Image via Wikipedia

In my typography class the other day we were studying the history of some of the more popular typefaces and fonts.  The popularity of certain typefaces changes over time just like everything else.  I found it interesting that probably the most used typeface today, in design and marketing anyway, emerged out of the 1960’s and 70’s – Helvetica.  The key to its popularity – its neutrality.  It is a very plain and simple font.

Okay, what does that have to do with coffee?  Well I remembered a Mad Men episode, set in the 60’s, where they were developing an ad campaign for a coffee company.  “No one in their 20’s drinks coffee any more,” one man commented.

In an effort to capture the younger generation, the agency hires on two twenty-something artists.  Their campaign?  A very neutral, general, but catchy jingle about having fun with the name of the coffee thrown in here and there.  Their explanation?  Our generation doesn’t want to be told what to do or what to think.  Just let us know your coffee exists and is good.  We’ll decide what to do with it.

I think it’s typical for young adults not to want to be told what to do or think.  But I think it was even more typical for that time period, and for a typeface of fonts that conveys no emotion or implications to be developed during this same time supports that.

Out of that era was born the “Me Generation” and on to the current “Postmodernism” line of thought.  Whatever could be next?


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One thought on “Fonts and Coffee

  1. Pingback: Come Thou Font Of Every Blessing « F E A T H E R G L A S S

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