Our typeface: ARS Region
Yes. Good, now that's settled, please indulge us a little. There's a really interesting article posted by Auntie Beeb that presents some interesting points about the theories of typefaces usage, without the zealotus rhetoric we typographers invariably resort to when we talk about the matter.
It's interesting; we frequently meet people who are design-conscious, who want to know what fonts they should be using, rather than the stock fonts that ship with your average PC/Mac these days. More often than not, they tend to already know that Arial is bad, and that Helvetica is better, but don't really know why. The reality today is that no self respecting designer would use Helvetica in any case, not because it's an inherently bad font (though many would argue that it is), but because since its birth in 1957, it's become unashamedly ubiquitous. In 1983 a new variation called Neue Helvetica was spawned which was superior in every sense, but has only contributed to the glut of Helvetica usage over the last few decades. There was a point during the 90's where a ridiculous volume of brand, and logo work generally, explored no further than Neue Helvetica for their typographic components. It's everywhere. Even today, you'd be lucky not to be exposed to Helvetica in a few dozen contexts before breaking for lunch.
That ultimately is the problem; for all its rights and wrongs, the reason we don't use Helvetica, is because it's an easy solution. It's a creative no-brainer. With so many viable alternatives available, the persistent use of Helvetica only highlights a lack of critical thought on the part of the designer. That's not to say that Helvetica doesn't have its place, it clearly does, but that place is a generic, functional one.
If you're still interested, and want some advice about typefaces, or you can't sleep and the chemist is closed; do give us a shout...