blog archive

Four of Thirty

Okay, kids: Time for another lesson in old-school design techniques. Transfer type used to be a big deal. You would + more

Beg pardon?

I believe this is what the kids these days might call a “packaging fail.” Or maybe I’m the only one + more

Time Flies

In honor of helveticka’s thirtieth anniversary, we’ve uncovered a few items from our past and put them on exhibit in + more

Old-School Publishing

Twenty-four finalists (out of 450) have been selected in this year’s Book Illustration Competition run by The Folio Society and + more

Three of Thirty

Remember these? No, millennials, these are not drink coasters, but that’s about all they’re good for these days. 3.5″ floppy + more

Two of Thirty

In 1989 we purchased our first computer, a Macintosh CXII. We borrowed the money from my business partner’s mom (thank + more

Multiplicative Idiocy

The Oatmeal has, as usual, nailed it: “Two half-wits do not equal a full-witted person. They equal a quarter-witted person.” + more

One of Thirty

Shortly after July 5, 1988, John and I received a letter from The Washington Water Power Company inviting us to + more


On January 1, 2018, helveticka will celebrate its 30th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, over the course of this coming + more

“As for man, his days are like grass…”

The two or three of you who regularly follow this blog will no doubt have noticed that we’ve been somewhat + more

No Ordinary John Smith

Last week, the Spokane graphic design community lost one of its pioneers. John Carroll Smith passed away November 6. He + more

What Goes Around Comes Around

It’s kind of funny when you think about how project opportunities come about. Especially the connections made along the way. + more

“In 1973, I invented a ‘girly drink’…”

“The initial thought behind Baileys Irish Cream took about 30 seconds,” writes David Gluckman in the Irish Times. “In another 45 + more

“The Unexpected Intersection between Craft and Forensic Science”

Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) was the first female police captain in the U.S. She’s considered the mother of forensic science. + more

Goodbye, Mr. Rogers

This past weekend I read about the passing of Jack C. Rogers. He was a design instructor when I attended + more

Basic Principals

After being out of college for more than five years, I have homework. Homework. Thankfully it’s fun, interesting, and awesome homework. + more

OMG That Cake is SRSLY Mondrian.

A pattern of vertical and horizontal black lines. Primary colors. Straight-sided geometric shapes. Asymmetric balance. Simple enough composition, yet in + more


When it comes to focus areas, designers have a lot of choices: layout, typography, web design, and more. Some are + more

Look Left, Then Look Right

When you find something this cool on the internet, you share it. 1. Click on this link 2. Pick a video + more

Where It All Began

My first professional job, a part-time gig around 1980, was with a local design firm called Spilker Baker & Associates. + more

So, You’re Thinking of Choosing a Font…

This is a big moment for you. For a long time, you’ve stood in the margins, watching friends and coworkers + more

Happy Hunting!

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and proclaim that this could very well be the coolest public sculpture project ever: + more

Discovery Rocks Art World

Rummaging through some boxes in helveticka’s archives recently, I found this painting in an unmarked folder containing back issues of High Times and old Taco + more

Great Shirts Think Alike

Thanks to Isabel Heisler for the invitation to speak yesterday at my alma mater, Spokane Falls Community College. Originally from + more

Wait. What?

Last week, Vincent Connare, the typographer who unleashed Comic Sans on an unsuspecting world, confessed his sins in an interview over + more

Mr. AZ / 5 of 5

Today, helveticka co-founder and part-time contributor John Richard Mraz turns 70! In celebration of this special occasion, we’ve been paying + more

Mr. AZ / 4 of 5

Keeping with this week’s theme about John Richard Mraz (who celebrates his seventieth birthday tomorrow), I would be remiss if + more

Mr. AZ / 3 of 5

We first met at Spokane Falls Community College when John Richard Mraz was a part-time faculty member in the design + more

Mr. AZ / 2 of 5

Upon receiving valedictorian honors from Colton High, John Richard Mraz—the second oldest of Norm and Virginia’s five children—enrolled in Washington + more

Mr. AZ / 1 of 5

This week on the blog, we’re paying tribute to helveticka co-founder John Richard Mraz, who celebrates a special birthday this Friday. + more

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