To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Helvetica typeface, type library Linotype is inviting designers worldwide to take part in the Helvetica NOW poster contest – an online competition offering designers the chance to win prizes and gain international creative acclaim.

Since its introduction in 1957, Helvetica has grown in popularity as a corporate typeface and has played a key role in modern visual communication. Its no frills, clear sans serif form lends a refreshing air of clarity to any typographic message.

Designed by Swiss designer Max Miedinger (1910-1980) and named Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface was renamed Helvetica (an adaptation of "Helvetia", the Latin name for Switzerland) in 1960. Over the years, Helvetica has been continuously refined. In 1983, Neue Helvetica was introduced in a redesigned and digitalized form that made the world’s most popular font family even more desirable. Known for its outstanding clarity, and wealth of weights, Neue Helvetica lends an element of classical modernity to corporate design. In 2001, Linotype released the Helvetica World typeface family, an update of the original design using the OpenType font format with a multilingual character-set.

Linotype invites designers to submit their poster design work, which has been published between 2000 and 2007, that uses Helvetica as a primary or secondary typeface. Designers can also submit posters – published, unpublished, or new designs – that show the role of type in modern day life, and the way that Helvetica affects our perception of the environment. The message and the visual exploration of Helvetica’s presence in our lives is open to every designer’s interpretation, and the use of photography is allowed.

The winners will be selected by popular vote. Voting will be carried out online at www.linotype.com/helveticaNOW starting in mid-October 2007. The winners will be announced in the January 2008 issue of the LinoLetter.

To support contest participants, Linotype is introducing a special offer on the Neue Helvetica typeface family. Until June 30, 2007, the entire family may be purchased for 50 per cent off the original price – exclusively at www.linotype.com.