Inspired by the Finnish road signs, Ludwig Übele designed the first style of Helsinki during a stay in the north of Finland in 1998. Like other classic wayfinding typefaces such as Highway Gothic or DIN, the Finnish signs featured rather crude, constructed letterforms. Übele decided to expand the font into a family of seven weights, balancing out its kinks but maintaining the vernacular nature of the design. In 2013 he expanded the character set, revised the weight range and added italics. Helsinki is a typeface of narrow proportions, with light styles suitable for text sizes down to 10px, and bold and black weights for high-octane headlines of a contemporary spirit.