blog archive

Holiday Greetings!

Every year about this time I receive a special holiday greeting. Not just any ol’ greeting, but a package of + more

One of the Best

I first met Pat Lynch around the time he mailed out a two-page, typewritten RFP for annual report design services. + more

The Power of Design

Last Friday, you’ll recall, we linked to Michael Watts’s “Cover Stories: A History of Magazine Design,” which argues that “a + more

I’ll Tumble 4 Ya

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’d like to draw your attention to this security camera footage, obtained just this + more

Giving Back

Have you heard? Another Helveticahaus scholarship winner was just announced. This is kind of a big deal. Since they opened + more

Helvetica Is Human!

Back in 1967, the United Nations set out to create a set of universal wayfinding symbols. Looking at the results + more

Twelve of Thirty

This story picks up where last week’s post left off. Though I hadn’t seen Bernard Perlin since 1995—when he visited Spokane + more

Eleven of Thirty

I first heard of Bernard Perlin while researching WWII propaganda posters for our 1995 Behind the Red, White & Blue: Posters, + more

Just Like That, It’s Over 

It’s amazing how quickly an exhibit can be dismantled. In just one day, CX30: Creative Experiences, Thirty Collaborators—our recent exhibit celebrating + more

Quiz Time!

To a non-designer like me, the difference between Helvetica and Arial is like the difference between competing brands of a certain + more

“The Grandfathers of Logo Design”

It used to be that logo design was “mostly utilitarian; images that represented brands often depicted either the product, the service, + more

Fun for the Whole Family

Have you heard? helveticka is 30 years old. And since we never do things the easy—or, let’s be honest, normal—way, + more

Ten of Thirty

Twenty-three years ago, we launched our first exhibit. It happened almost by accident. I’d stumbled across several World War I + more

Thirty years later…

…we’re still here. I know what you’re thinking: That cannot possibly be. After all, nobody expected it to last. A couple + more

Nine of Thirty

The 2017 annual report for Hecla Mining Company marks our 30th edition. It was the summer of 1988 when we + more

Not to Brag or Anything…

Hey, get a load of this, from our friends over at the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation: + more

Forty-Two Years Later

One of Spokane’s finest architects recently retired, closing his office and walking away from a 42-year career. Quietly. Unnoticed. And + more

Eight of Thirty

Using a handy Polaroid Spectra camera, I took a series of “clowning around” photos of visitors to our design office + more

Seven of Thirty

During annual report season, we’d always look for a good location to photograph the company’s top executives. We’d get permission + more

Six of Thirty

A trip to the print shop to check and sign off on paper stock, colors, and registration still happens, but + more

Five of Thirty

Back in the day (here we go again), we’d receive photo contact sheets—made directly from the photographer’s black and white + more

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

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