“dear diary…”

Photograph by Hh co-founder CK Anderson, Basel, Switzerland, 2016.

A glimpse into the making of Helvetica.

Designer and publisher Lars Müller called it “the most important record of Helvetica’s creation”: a fifty-eight page diary created by Eduard Hoffman, manager of the Haas Type Foundry and architect of Helvetica’s development. Along with his own handwritten notes and dates, Hoffman pasted all the proofs from designer and typeface coauthor Max Miedinger in its pages.

The notebook rests, in the most unassuming manner, within the Basler Papiermuhle (Basel Paper Mill). The first entry is dated November 16, 1956; July 21, 1965 is the last. The photo above shows the entries from April 1957 – back when Helvetica was still called Neue Haas Grotesk.

“It serves as a priceless testimony,” writes Müller, “unprecedented in typeface history.”