Category Archives: helveticanation

2012 semester one folio submission.

hello tafe instructors,
welcome to the online portion of my folio, including research and finished pieces for the subjects, create graphics and interactive digital media. as per luke surace’s request earlier in the year, research uploaded has been kept to a minimum to ease the burden of him going through everyone’s blog.
if requested i can provide research in hard copy.
happy marking,


the final product – helvetica nation.

here is the final product. i’m sure i’d keep refining if the timeline was there to, however i think these work well in both black and colour. i know that colour wasn’t necessary for the assignment, but each icon could be assigned a colour based on the dominant swatch of the particular character.

my favourites remain kermit and rowlfe.

muppets in pieces.

i decided to try and mask the fact that i was using helvetica to try and get the most accurate interpretation of the muppet that i could. this involved a lot of knife tooling (something i’ve only worked with briefly before) and lots of rotating bits of letters and numbers. i also had to use pathfinder a lot to slice things up as well. each face took about 4-6 hours to construct, depending on the complexity. below are the faces, selected so you can see all the pieces that went into a face.

i found the letters and numbers and symbols i used most were:

C U l v M I 9 2 % ) ( – G

although all up i used 17 letters of the alphabet, four numbers and 7 symbols.

after i made the rowlfe one, i’d made myself a big circle black in out of quarter of a C and a few small i characters. this then came in handy for eyes and bits of mouth, hence the big blue areas in some. you’ll note that the sides are slightly square – the fault of the i.

the muppets go helvetica.

some source pictures for the characters i will be doing in helvetica.
i’ve chosen these characters as they are the most recognisable in my opinion. note that they are all male kept for miss piggy – never realised that they were so sexist! haaha.

i’ll have to stylise animal as the wispy hair is not really acheivable in my mind with helvetica bold.

trials in helvetica.

my first idea for helvetica nation was to document the faces of universal movie monsters using helvetica bold to create iconography/symbols that were not complicated and could work as a set.
some of the monsters included in the 8 characters to be portrayed are shown below, (l-r), the mummy, the creature from the black lagoon, the hunchback of notre dame, the wolf man, and frankenstein.
others that i had planned to do included dracula, frankenstein’s bride and the phantom of the opera, who in the universal movie world, was considered a monster.
i actually made the whole face of the creature from the black lagoon and started on the wolf man (see picture at bottom), but i came to the conclusion that because all monsters were so different, visually the would not work as a set, and only as a set of characters from the same movie studio.
it was then i decided to have a go at doing hen son’s muppets, as the all had likenesses that could be carried over in bits and pieces into the 8 icons.



helvetica henson.

after many a try, (posts to come of previous attempts), i thought i’d go with doing 8 muppets characters using helvetica bold to construct them.

here is kermit. i’ve taken a screen shot of all the pieces and then finished face. took about 4 hours. a lot of rotating and knifing the font went into this. lol.

what i have to work with.

this is what i have to work with for helvecticaNATION.
i cannot skew, distort or fill in counters. i can slice them with the knife tool.
8 images that work as a set.

more helvecticaNATION

here are some more examples of helveticaNATION iconography. these range from simplistic, but also gives examples of more detailed ones. i do think, however that some have been skewed, which in our brief is not allowed. i think i need to strike a balance between simple as and something a bit more detailed. it does seem like it feels as if the assignment would be done of in 10 minutes, but i think if i get into that mindset I will come up with something that is not very good.

a farmyard family:

this one interests me the most, even though i think the font’s been skewed:

i think the images below are really good representations of office supplies and could be easily worked into an instructional poster or something similar:



this one is really clever! it revolves around the cold temperature but includes things you don’t necessarily think about when coming up with ideas for cold temperature iconography:



so, looking on the net there are a few instances of helveticaNATION designs that have been done from people all around the world.
whilst these will probably be most the same for all other gotafe students, i’m posting the pictures anyway, just to give an example of what the end results could look like.
i am yet to decide on a theme, but whatever the theme is the 8 images need to work as a set, like they belong together.

it’s interesting that the images of helveticaNATION can range from very simple, (see below) to things that are a little more complex, albeit while keeping there simplistic nature. the images under this text are clear representations of different kinds of people. and the great thing is the were done using minimal characters.

here we have something that is a more complicated effort. i like the fact that they images have been restrained to just black and white. it maintains the air of simplicity. they are clearly elderly people and weights of the same font have been used to emphasis different things about the characters.

not that we will be using colour, but adding it just makes for a more eye-popping, or themetically appropriate feel. it will be important to create images that are not reliant on colour but still get across the tone of what the imagery is. here are two that have great construction, and would also work in just black and white.