Peer Review Specimen Books: Helvetica

For my peer review, I decided to look at Carly Warner’s Helvetica type specimen booklet. Helvetica is a commonly used typeface and can be recognized as the type used in the NYC Subway system. I’ve seen the subway signs a few times, but I never recognized the font as Helvetica, at the time. I love that she used the Subway theme for her booklet. The red, blue, black, and white, and the different arrows and shapes create the subway feel.

She goes through and shows the alphabet in upper and lowercase, numbers & symbols, and weights, point sizes & leading, handwritten versions, and tips on how to identify it. I really love the front cover of the booklet. The layering of the outlined letters with the black letters and the blue shape behind the “v” look really good. Similar text layering can be seen throughout the book. My favorite spread is the one with the descriptive words and handwritten letters. Carly’s handwritten letters are super good and I appreciate the fact that she drew the entire alphabet as opposed to only a few letters. The layering of the descriptive words looks very nice too. I like that she used different opacities & sizes, so certain words like “classic” and “edgy” stand out.


Carly’s type specimen booklet uses very bold colors and large type. I can see that Helvetica, while clean and classic, can be bold and sharp. The informative and fun design of this type specimen booklet, makes me want to try out and use Helvetica more, because I have not used it often in the past.


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