Helvetica is regarded as one of the most widely-used and beloved typefaces ever designed, first developed in 1957 by Swiss typography luminaries Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann. Its impact has stood the test of time, impressively enduring through fads and trends in the typography landscape for decades, and now breaking into the latest design phenomenon: NFTs.
From the font foundry Monotype and the web3 creative community KnownUnknown, Helvetica is being propelled into the future with their project “Helvetica The NFT.” The innovative collaboration is a digital art collection of 26 designs from a diverse group of 26 prolific artists who have all uniquely reimagined Helvetica in NFT form.
“This collaboration has produced a never-before-seen collection of art that celebrates the role of Helvetica in a new marketplace,” says Charles Nix, creative type director at Monotype and one of the collection’s contributing artists. Other noteworthy participants include Pentagram Partner Paula Scher, graphic design legend Lance Wyman, UK road sign visionary Margaret Calvert, and Vicky Vuong, an electron microscopist turned sneaker artist who layered warped Helvetica font onto a physical sneaker for her NFT.
Working with Helvetica Now Variable, the most digitally-optimized version of the typeface ever made, these and other artists including Kunel Gaur, Jasmina Zornic, Julian Montague, and photographer Wayne Lawrence, each created original art for the collection. Monotype and KnownUnknown partnered with the Avalanche blockchain to enable the collection, based in part on its low environmental impact.
Starting today, NFT, type, and art aficionados everywhere are able to purchase artwork in the “Helvetica The NFT” collection on the KnownUnknown website from the creators. Each NFT will be offered at three levels of rarity, priced at the equivalent of $100, $250, and $500 respectively.