The Anatomy of Helvetica

Type design project based around human anatomy and Helvetica.

For this project we were given a choice of 3 themes to start from, which were, 'Noise and Silence', 'Rituals and Human Behaviour' and 'Art and Science'. From these we had to choose one and then research into it, eventually coming up with our own brief on a focus area that we had settled on. One of the final outcomes had to be in the form of a publication and the rest was up to us.

I chose to use Art and Science as my starting point and from this I chose to focus on human anatomy. I then decided that because typography is one of my main passions within graphic design, I'd do a typographic piece. So to begin somewhere I started to create letters from human anatomy. At this point I didn't fully know where my project was going. To try put a meaning behind my work I then decided to base my type creations around an already existing typeface, Helvetica. I chose to do this as though my type designs were showing the anatomy of Helvetica. All of my designs started off hand drawn with a black fineliner and then were tweaked in Illustrator to make them into vectors.
 Muscle Typeface
 Brain Typeface
Skeletal Typeface
Tooth Typeface
Intestine Typeface
Nerve Typeface
Eye Typeface
Artery and Vein Typeface
The original intention was to create the entire alphabet and then produce a publication called "The Anatomy of Helvetica" showcasing these creations. However, due to the length of time these took to produce (4+ hours per letter on some types) and the short amount of time I had to produce a publication plus whatever I then decided to do, I decided to stop after creating the letters that spell out "anatomy". I then decided from what I had created, for my second outcome I'd produce a mock exhibition called "The Anatomy of Helvetica" and create some posters using my typeface designs to advertise it. To keep them in the anatomy theme, I chose to do my posters in the style of an anatomy book's diagram.
Having now got a second outcome for my self directed project, an exhibition. I then decided that for my publication I would create a hardback leaflet in a concertina layout, using my typeface designs, to advertise the exhibition. This is how it turned out.