Are You Helvetica Enough?

Helvetica–whether to do it and for how long–remains a flash point in the world of design.

Attachment to Helvetica is not a bad thing. Some studies may even show that using Helvetica for an extended amount of time will make you a better human being. Yet  Helvetica lovers continue to be mocked and ridiculed by all different types.

How passionate are you toward Helvetica? How well do you know Helvetica’s curves and intricacies? Well there’s finally an app to measure your devotion. It’s appropriately called Helvetica vs. Arial by Dalston Labs., London. It’s a game and it brilliantly tests your knowledge of the typeface by flashing words in both Arial and Helvetica and you have to pick the correct one to earn points. You can only guess incorrectly twice before the game is over. In addition, you are being timed and are awarded points based on how fast you can determine if the word is set in Helvetica or Arial. It’s safe to say this is the best gaming app out there. Angry Birds Space has nothing over this epic battle of rival typefaces. This game truly separates the hardcore Helveticans from the bandwagon hipsters. Best of all, it’s FREE.

Just to be clear, I don’t know the creators of this app, but I’m sure I’d like them if I ever met them. You don’t need to know English to play either. The key to success in this game is knowing letter forms. For example, Helvetica’s lower case “a” is distinctly different than Arial’s lower case “a”. The terminal on Helvetica’s “a” has some flair to it, while Arial’s is straight. Although this tip should help you while playing, the developers know this trick as well which is why you’ll notice that as you continue onto advanced levels, words with the lower case “a” are far and between.

Overall, it’s a very simple, yet fun game for type nerds. So if you have a smart phone (and statistically speaking, you probably do) download the free app and truly find out if you are Helvetica enough!

Tangerine Tango

Tangerine Tango – 2012 Color of the Year

Today it was officially announced by Pantone that Tangerine Tango (17-1463 TCX) is the 2012 Color of the Year. Described as a “vivacious and appealing reddish orange”, it’s the second consecutive year of having a warm color as the “color of the year”. 2011 blessed us with Honeysuckle, a color I never used. I did actually like that color, but having done most of my design work this past year in the power equipment industry, the timing never felt right to bust out anything in a floral pink.

As for Tangerine Tango, the consensus I have received from my design colleagues is a positive one. I can especially see this color taking off in the fashion industry. Before I get to my personal opinion on this color selection, I do have to say this color has the best name. The name bursts of freshly squeezed passion.

For you graphic design peeps out there that want to achieve Tangerine Tango in CMYK, the combination is 0-82-80-0.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Institute describes the 2012 color choice as:

Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it.

Well put Leatrice. It’s vibrant yet subtle. Tangerine Tango calls for your attention, but doesn’t scream in your face. It’s like having a conversation with an acquaintance for hours, yet once the conversation is over you are still left with a craving. A mysterious intrigue. To simply put it, the color is a platonic addiction.

Apartment Therapy New York has already posted pics of what your interior could look like with a couple coats of Tangerine Tango. I’ll be honest, it makes me want to paint my living room that color.

Will you use this color? Have you used this color? What looks good in this color? Would Helvetica look good in Tangerine Tango. (Of course it would! Silly question.)

Congratulations to you, Tangerine Tango. May 2012 be as fresh and passionate as you.