Helvetica (2007)

20 Jun

Helvetica (or the similar Arial) is a font which surrounds us in our daily life and is one of the most succesful fonts ever made. Various companies use it for their logo and it’s used extensively in many fields. For something which is so widespread we actually know nothing about it. Should you be interested in its history? How interesting can a documentary about a font be?

Gary Hustwit shows the history of Helvetica and which thought process led to designing these letters. It also shows the effect of the font on marketing. As the lines are very clear and the marketing for the font (yes, fonts are also marketed) was very good Helvetica became a big success. With lots of interviews with graphic designers and designers of other fonts Huswit manages to give a fascinating look into a world of something we use almost every day. The movie shows the use of the font all over the world and by doing this it becomes clear how popular Helvetica actually is.

There are a lot of fans of this font who love Helvetica’s neutral design. This design results in clear communication as it’s not about the way the letters look, but about the message a company want to get across. Of course not everyone loves the font and various designer speak about their “hate” for Helvetica.

After seeing this documentary you will look at the world differently for a couple of days and notice how much text is used when you step outside your door. Despite the initial feeling that a documentary about something like a font couldn’t be interesting, Helvetica manages to captivate its viewers with a look into the world of font design.

Score: 8

More information about the documentary can be found on the Helvetica documentary site

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2 Responses to “Helvetica (2007)”

  1. Raghav 20 September 2011 at 16:15 #

    Another interesting movie. I recently watched Objectified by the same director. It’s almost equally interesting focusing on the design aspect. Now the director has completed his trilogy with Urbanized which looks at city designs.

    • Nostra 21 September 2011 at 08:05 #

      The trailer for Urbanized was released yesterday. Looking forward to that one!

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