Helvetica man in Ireland

We are all familiar with Helvetica Man. He was designed in the mid 1970s as part of a system of “international” icons, in a collaborative project with the AIGA and the US Department of Transportation. The system aids travelers to baggage claim or the bar in large transportation hubs like airports and train stations.

Helvetica Man has served us well over the years. Developed and drawn in a rational, reductive style, he and Helvetica Woman seem a bit drab and dull after almost 50 years of guiding us to the restrooms. You might even see people and businesses poke fun at them in advertising and other communications. When he’s not helping us on a map, he’s out and about.

Despite his age, Helvetica Man continues to adapt to many different cultures. At times he may seem a bit mischievous. Ireland is a wild and beautiful place, and here he’s taken on a life of his own. He’s a rather adventurous, outdoors kind of fellow and can often be seen on the brink of catastrophic injury, or perhaps death.

Here’s a smattering of the shenanigans he’s found himself in on the Emerald Isle.

At the Cliffs of Moher, he’ll climb on anything. Don’t let him cross the barrier because he’ll harm the grass or lose his footing. Then your whole holiday will be ruined!

There are a lot of cliffs in Ireland. Be careful.

Water can be hazardous, stay away.
No swimming with the dolphins.

Maybe we shouldn’t go to the park, maybe we should just stay home.

Do not leave rectangles unattended.

Construction sites have large ditches, beware.

This way to the disco!


Helvetica children are born with detail that is lost at they mature. 5yr olds.

7 year old Helvetica girl.

Teenage Helvetica boy, 1960s car. You can see already he is up to mischief.


This is a real sign in the restrooms in Glendalough! Does the white X mean these activities are ok?



  1. josh
    Dec 16, 2017

    I didn’t realize Ireland was such a dangerous place for mr. helvetica. But I guess he’s kind of asking for it.

    • ddavid
      Dec 18, 2017


Comments are closed.