In Use: Helvetica for Kartell

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use | Stephen Coles | June 9, 2006

Here’s something from the Typographic Happenstance Department. Kartell uses a typeface as crisp and clean as their ultra modern furniture: Helvetica.

Kartell Helvetica

But earlier this month, San Francisco designer/photographer Graham Hicks caught the Kartell logo in a rougher state:

“After a quick visit to Stout Books to pick up a little book I noticed the Kartell furniture store up the street was being repainted. The huge Helvetica logo had been masked off with orange tape making some interesting shapes.”

 Kartellhelvetica 02
Kartell Helvetica 01


  1. The logo just makes me think of Knoll.

    Posted by omit on Jun. 12, 2006
  2. That looks more like a crude version of Helvetica Bold Outline, which sends off a different visual effect than regular Helvetica, IMHO. The Outline face doesn’t look quite the same as putting a stroke around the letters in Illustrator, but it’s a lot more refined. I’m not sure what was done in the process, but it’s neat!
    Nice photo. I love to see work in progress.

    Posted by Down10 on Jun. 17, 2006
  3. I realize that the orange is the tape. I wonder how pristine it is. Pretty impressive to be able to tape off such a crisp design. Guess that is why it is called a craft art.

    Posted by Tiffany Wardle on Jun. 21, 2006
  4. I wonder what their reason is for taking the long and tedious, old-school sign writing route – why not just paint the wall and then paste a precicely cut vinyl transfer over that?

    Posted by Steve B on Aug. 9, 2006
  5. Vinyl at that size on a rough wall will not last very long. I am also glad that somebody still actually paints in wall.

    See the finished piece over on my blog:

    Posted by erik on Apr. 14, 2008
  6. It is always refreshing to see that people don’t always opt for the quick fix solution, in a world where everything is wanted yesterday it is great to see that some clients would prefer quality over speed.

    Posted by Andrew Ross on Jan. 21, 2009
  7. i love painted signs!

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Jan. 21, 2009

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