holiday gifts for just one 'type'

Helvetica is a designer’s typeface by default. It’s clean and efficient, yet beautiful in its minimalist form. Chances are you probably see it on a daily basis. But why are designers so “obsessed” with this font? Why is it used so frequently? You have to admire Helvetica’s longevity, no matter how many new typefaces arrive on the scene, Helvetica is still standing strong.
The key for designers is how they use Helvetica. Being neutral is one of its most favorable characteristics. This allows the font to be versatile and give it a range that many fonts can never achieve (think of our much maligned friend Comic Sans MS). Not to personify fonts but if Helvetica were at a party it would be the most popular, the most hated, the most fun, the least fun, the best dancer, the worst dancer. It could literally be anything.
This year, we’ve put together a list of Helvetica-themed gifts to get the designer in your family, friend group, office, etc. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

to eat.



Helvetica cookie cutter. Pick your letter.
The cookie cutter can be used with cookie dough, fondant, soft cheese and clay.
It’s about $8 for a single letter or just over $50 for eight, however if you would you like the full 26-letter set, contact the seller for a special price.

to adore.


Cats and type, together at last!

This whimsical 12×16″ print by Bethany Lesko is purrfect for the feline fan. Titled ‘Helveticat’ is the creative blend between cats and the beloved typeface. Every order is letterpressed by hand in Brooklyn, NY and is available for only $25 via her Etsy site.

to smell.

What do you get for the designer who has everything? How about nothing?
Helvetica The Perfume is literally just water, or “modernism distilled.” Created as a gag gift by creative collective Guts and Glory, each bottle costs $62 plus shipping.
As you might expect, most of the copywriting around the pseudo-perfume is pretty entertaining, capturing the best of black-turtle-neck designer speak with an implied wink.

“This typeface was to have no intrinsic meaning, allowing the content to convey the message. … It is in this spirit that we have created the ultimate Modernist perfume–a scent distilled down to only the purest and most essential elements to allow you, the content, to convey your message with the utmost clarity.”

to wear.

What better way to keep warm than typographical scarf? This scarf is laser-cut, with amazing attention to detail. A perfect gift for anyone who appreciates the sheer beauty of Helvetica.
For about $60 you can keep your neck warm throughout the cold season, uppercase style!

to gamble.

Made for the gambler and the typophile, Helveticards are a beautiful, usable alternative to today’s ubiquitous French sets. Designed for Fab by Ryan Meyers, both master type designer Max Miedinger (who gave us this famous font) and Poker Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson would be happy to deal this deck. And at only $12, you’ll be able to entertain the halls with this deck.

to watch.

Helvetica examines the rise of this typeface, from its humble beginnings in post-WW II Switzerland, through its explosive growth in the 1960’s as the font of the future, to it’s eventual resentment and the backlash by designers in the 1970’s and 80’s, to the ubiquitous role it holds in modern Web design. Beyond this history, though, Helvetica also serves as a backdrop for changing design styles, and the movie provides a deeper exploration of how designers work and think. The story is told simply, but in a manner engaging enough to keep designers and non-designers alike interested.
You can gift a DVD of the film for $20 or a Blu Ray copy for $26 and includes the full 80-minute feature film, plus over 90 minutes of additional interviews with Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Hermann Zapf, and more.

to carry.

This bag is from DADADA studio’s bags collection called “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. This sentence is used by graphic designers when working with typefaces, because phrase contains all letters of the English alphabet. Three lines of text – name of typeface, author and the date when type was created. $25 each.

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.