See you in Hell(vetica)

R/GA associate creative director Zack Roif is working through something here.

What’s your biggest fear? Snakes? Fire? Death? Bad kerning? Public speaking? Heartbreak? B ad k e  rni ng? Drowning? Tight spaces? Ba d ker ni ng? Losing a loved one? BA D KE R NIN  G?

The fact is, designers can be particular. You never know when something is going to pop out at them and incite a reaction so visceral, it will haunt their nightmares for weeks to come. And what’s the best way to deal with fears and anxiety? Why, you do something creative.

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Zack Roif, associate creative director of R/GA, channeled his fear of bad kerning in the classic Helvetica font by creating his own custom font (“Hellvetica” – it’s Helvetica, but with the worst kerning you’ve ever seen). The website to promote the font is spooky-scary – let’s just say, Roif has some real issues with bad uses of spacing in Helvetica.

Of course, when someone has a nightmare, you usually comfort them by telling them, “It’s okay, it’s not real, it can’t hurt you!” The problem, though, according to Roif is that bad kerning in Helvetica is indeed very real. Check out these real-world examples.

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Hellvetica, a font straight out of purgatory, has received glowing reviews such as “This looks like shit” (-Italian designer Massimo Vignelli, probably from the afterlife); “What have you done?” (-Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger, also rolling in a grave somewhere) and “I don’t hate it” (-Prince of the Underworld, Satan himself).

Whatever you need to do to work out your fears and neuroses is up to you. This is a safe… space.



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