Famous Logos in Helvetica

A while back, I took a series of famous logos and rendered them in the fonts Papyrus and Algerian. Why? Because along with Comic Sans, Papyrus and Algerian really irk graphic designers. All three of those fonts have gimmicks that make them stand out. Papyrus looks like ancient Egyptian Demotic writing, Algerian looks like an embroidered sampler, and Comic Sans looks like, well, comic book writing. Contrast these to the designers’ darling, Helvetica. Designed to be simple and unobtrusive, it is the epitome of Swiss minimalism. But Helvetica has become a victim of its own popularity. Graphic designers use it so much that it’s as played out as Comic Sans or Papyrus. And since it’s so overused, I decided to see what famous logos would look like redone in Helvetica. Here is what I came up with.

Baskin Robbins logo in Helvetica

Burger King logo in Helvetica

Denny's logo in Helvetica

Holiday Inn logo in Helvetica

Hooters logo in Helvetica

NASA Meatball logo in Helvetica

Paramount Pictures logo in Helvetica

The Home Depot logo in Helvetica

Whole Foods Market logo in Helvetica

Yahoo logo in Helvetica

Unlike the logos I redid in Papyrus and Algerian fonts, the logos above don’t look all that different from their real-life counterparts. Most of them, anyway. Baskin Robbins, Denny’s and NASA don’t look unusual at all. Whole Foods, Home Depot look better, at least in my opinion. Burger King, Hooters and Paramount Pictures look just a little bit off. The revised Holiday Inn logo seems alright, but loses much of its resemblance to the real-life logo. And then there’s Yahoo. (Or “Yahoo!” As with Yum! Brands, they use an exclamation point in their name, which I will hereafter leave out.) The Yahoo logo is a mess in Helvetica. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a mess in real life, too. With it’s wacky, uneven lettering, it looks like something slapped together on an old Packard Bell computer. And since Yahoo’s logo is unchanged since the 1990s, that’s probably not far from the truth. Let’s face it, the Yahoo logo would look awful in any font.

As a graphic designer who’s never been a big fan of Helvetica, I gained some appreciation for the font while doing this project. For the most part, it is a very well designed typeface that looks good in many different contexts. The same cannot be said for Comic Sans, Papyrus or Algerian. And while I would like designers use a larger array of fonts, I understand why so many artists choose Helvetica.

Next up: Jokerman

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

You may also like...

22 Responses

  1. Partridg3 says:

    What is the actual name of the new Holiday Inn font? do you know. It’s actually quite a nice font. Just curious… Been trying to find it. Thanks

  2. JapanYoshi says:

    May I use the Helvetica Baskin Robbins as my profile picture?

  3. Richard says:

    The Nasa one looks better I think.

  4. logan says:

    sure, may I use Helvetica the home depot for picture.

  5. jack says:

    the paramount pictures logo I think.

  6. rileytog says:

    the denny’s logo i think.

  7. josh12345 says:

    the denny’s one looks better I think so.

  8. flatts12 says:

    the whole foods market I think.

  9. flatts1957 says:

    the logos look better I think.

  10. rileytog says:

    denny’s, and the home depot.

  11. rileytog says:

    baskin robbins
    burger king
    denny’s
    holiday inn
    hotters
    paramount pictures
    home depot
    whole foods
    yahoo.

  1. April 19, 2013

    […] if you don’t, you’re almost guaranteed to see it on everything from nutrition labels to corporate logos. In short, Helvetica is the most overused font in […]

  2. July 1, 2013

    […] is an unusual font. Unlike Helvetica, Papyrus or even Jokerman, it’s not a font that uses letters. Instead it’s what’s […]

  3. September 6, 2013

    […] different designs they came up with. I was hoping they’d do one in Jokerman font, or at least Helvetica, but unfortunately, they did neither. And as much as I like the concept of a different logo […]

  4. October 31, 2016

    […] using a different typeface. The results – which you can view here, here, here, here, here and here – are boring at best and hideous at worst: Pinterest loses its pizazz in Optima; Costco, in the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *