Limited Edition Screenprint.
700 x 500mm.
Helvetiki / Artists Statement
This graphic was designed in 2007, a year which saw the 50 yr anniversary of the type face Helvetica, and was inspired by the release of the film by Gary Hustwit. Helvetica (the film) looks at the proliferation of one typeface as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.
Helvetica (the typeface) seems well versed when a standardised approach to typography is required, commonly used around public infrastructure for its neutrality - some describe it as having a ‘likeness to air’ *.
Around that time I had been thinking largely about the prolific commercial use of what we as New Zealander’s describe as symbols of our identity, in particular the use of the Heitiki, more commonly referred to as Tiki ^.
The Tiki is part of a kitsch and inconsistent visual language representing who we are, both in our own country and abroad. Are these symbols and their varied use in commercial applications losing their strength of origin, importance and meaning? It’s certainly not an unasked question.
By proposing a standard commercial graphic use of the Tiki - Helvetiki, perhaps we can save the face and importance of one of our national treasures and finally start looking beyond the done for the greater development of our visual identity.