Arial vs. Helvetica, Part II

Here we have another exhibit in the battle of Arial and Helvetica: two signs posted side by side, and obviously designed with some intention of consistency. Sort of. Their sizes are different, their shapes are different, and, of course, one is in Helvetica (the left) and one is in Arial (the right). But someone was clearly trying to make them match, to the best of their limited abilities.

This photo was taken this evening in the west parking garage of the Mall of America, near the Best Buy entrance.

Any guesses on which sign came first? I don’t know myself, but I have a hunch it’s the one on the left. The rounded corners and use of Helvetica suggest the work of a trained designer; the shortcut copycat approach of the sign on the right — sharp corners and Arial, seems characteristic.

I’m pretty sure the No Smoking sign would precede the Authorized Parking Only sign chronologically for logical reasons as well: the concern about misplaced smoking existed long before the concern about misplaced parking at MOA, the latter only becoming a serious issue within the last five years as both IKEA and light rail transit have considerably increased non-mall traffic to the area.

Arial vs. Helvetica at the Mall of America parking garage