Newly freed from behind The Times’s pay wall, author Douglas Coupland on Helvetica:
In the world of type, Helvetica was the supposed endpoint of design. It was designed to be 100-percent emotionally neutral (yes, how Swiss, the same country that brought us sleeping pills — Helvetica is the Latin name for Switzerland), and when it was marketed in 1961, it caused a revolution, because everything the font touched it modernized. Helvetica essentially takes any word or phrase and pressure-washes it into sterility. I love it.