There aren’t many NFT collections who have merged Web3 technology and potential with typography. Filling this space is Helvetica The NFT – a collaboration between legendary type foundry Monotype and emerging Web 3.0 creative community KnownUnknown that has seen two dozen artists from around the world come together to create a range of NFTs using “the world’s most well-known typeface”.
The collection was pre-released in June at iR Gallery Soho in New York and explores the intersection of art, culture and technology, and investigates how the three can work together in a typographic context.
“This collaboration has produced a never-before-seen collection of art that celebrates the role of Helvetica in a new marketplace,” says Alice Palmer, SVP of Marketing at Monotype. “Holders of the tokens will have access to both the creators they admire and a growing community of design enthusiasts who are part of the KnownUnknown ecosystem.”
Helvetica The NFT boasts a number of celebrated creators, including Margaret Calvert, who is best known for her seminal work on road signage in the UK – and has contributed her first-ever NFT to the project – and prolific designer Paula Scher, who is a partner at Pentagram and served as its first female principal in 1991. Among the older and more established creatives are up-and-comers such as Vicky Vuong, an electron microscopist turned sneaker artist who created an artwork where “the anatomy of a sneaker is labelled with warped Helvetica font”.
Other admirable contributors and creators include Kunel Gaur, Jasmina Zornic, Julian Montague, Wayne Lawrence and Kiel Mutschelknaus. Each of these creators has taken the classic and much-loved typeface and shown the many ways in which type in general can be used for artistic purposes in a Web 3.0 and Metaverse context.
According to Palmer, Helvetica The NFT forms part of a wider movement in which designers are “exploring type design for virtual reality environments”. She adds: “They’re weighing accessible type design and letter shapes when viewed at different angles and levels of automation—all without compromising authentic brand experiences.”