From Helvetica To Haas Unica


Here’s a wonderful Flickr set of a promotional publication called From Helvetica To Haas Unica by Team’77 that takes you through the development process of Haas Unica. The publication analyzes the Helvetica forms and illustrates the difference between it and Haas Unica. What’s interesting is that Unica was created as an improvement over the the grotesk faces of the time, especially Helvetica. As much as I like Unica, I’m not sure how much of an improvement it is over Helvetica. Much of what makes Helvetica so unique and beautiful is removed from Haas Unica. Nonetheless it’s an excellent read.

I must have a copy! In the meantime you can download a PDF of the publication.

There is an ugly legal battle between Linotype and Scangraphic over the ownership of typeface. Until it’s cleared up, Haas Unica is not commercially available. Fortunately for me, after years of working in the “biz”, I’ve obtained a copy of the font. But since I’ve never purchased it, I don’t ever use it for any work which is unfortunate. I just load it up in my favorite font manager, set some type in Haas Unica and admire it’s beauty. What a shame.

Richard wrote in to let me know of another Flickr set showing the use of Haas Unica in Berlin’s Olympic stadium.


7 thoughts on “From Helvetica To Haas Unica

  1. I have been looking at his for a couple of days now and it seems like the typeface BP Neutral tried to do the same thing. I can see more of a difference in BP Nuetral than in this face though…. the drawings of Haas Unica are interesting though. It is nice to see the thought process.

  2. Nicholas, I’ve never seen BP Nuetral. Do you have a link to it?

    The thought process is amazing and the analysis is very in-depth.


    It almost seems like they are trying to do what Helvetica did when it was first released. They have just revised a typeface and made it neutral by making it less recognizable. In fifty years this typeface could be the next “Helvetica,” the ultimate “neutral” typeface that you can do anything with!

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