for us helvetica lovers out there, this is just too cool – look forward to using it in a design. m.
If you have eyeballs, you’ve almost certainly seen Helvetica. It’s one of the most widely used typefaces ever created, so popular that it generated a documentary examining its popularity. It’s almost equally certain that you have not seen Haas Unica, the typeface designed to be Helvetica’s sequel of sorts. Introduced in 1980, it was lost to history almost instantly upon its arrival.
Now, after languishing in obscurity for decades, Unica has been rescued and remastered. Thanks to an effort by Monotype designer Toshi Omagari, the legendary typeface is finally available as Neue Haas Unica, an 18-font family tuned-up for the digital age. Drawn to be legible at small sizes, it could be a perfect Helvetica-substitute for user interfaces and other on-screen text elements. For designers, though, the new Unica is an exciting visitor from the past. As Pentagram partner J. Abbott Miller puts it, “There is a Rip van Winkle quality of a font having woken up after 30 years of sleep.”