Helveticize Your Web

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

It’s been fun to see new scripts and themes developed to “Helveticize” the web, starting with Google Reader, then Google Calendar, Gmail, and now Twitter.  If you’re a Helvetica lover, you’re in luck.  Get rid of multiple fonts and cluttered interfaces and give your apps a minimalist makeover.  It is just a visual makeover, though, since the UX of the sites won’t change or improve.

Helvetwitter by Josef Richter

If you like Jon Hicks’ Helvetireader and Ad Taylor’s Helvetical, this is another attempt to build upon these designs.

Twitter success is based on the simplicity of the service. However, the website, as well as various standalone Twitter clients are becoming more and more cluttered with useless features and other junk. Therefore, I stripped it to the basics and now it’s the first twitter client I am happy with.

The ideal way is to use Fluid to build a simple standalone Helvetwitter client.

Helvetireader by Jon Hicks

Helvetireader is a userscript that pares down Google Reader to what I consider to be the essentials. In particular, it’s made for looking at just unread feeds in the expanded view, using Keyboard Shortcuts instead of on-screen buttons. It’s not going to suit how everyone uses Google Reader, so you can take the CSS and personalise to your hearts content!

All you need is a browser that supports userscripts (see below) and, of course, Helvetica.

Helvetical by Ad Taylor


Helvetical extends the work done by Jon Hicks on Helvetireader, turning the mayhem of the Google interface into something that doesn’t offend. It was created for use with Fluid.app but I’m sure you can hack the CSS to work for your needs.

Helvetimail by Josef Richter

A minimalist Gmail skin. (Thanks to Johannes Kleske for reminding me about this one!)

3 Comments

  1. Johannes Kleske
    September 14, 2009

    And here’s the missing piece: Helvetimail ;-) http://www.josefrichter.com/helvetimail/

  2. Emily Chang
    September 14, 2009

    Thanks, Johannes. That’s the other one I couldn’t remember. Adding it to the post :)

  3. Ben Satterfield
    September 17, 2009

    I love all of these! Thanks so much for posting this article with these make-overs.