If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.
No love for Comic Sans?
...I'll see myself out.
Turns a movie about the history of a font into a study of the subliminal, of individualism, of unity, of what it's like to be obsessed with minutia, of old vs new, of modern culture, of being more aware of the world around you and ALSO about the theory of designing a font.
It's not the best documentary ever, but it's a well constructed film and a damn impressive feat.
Perhaps I might have had a better time if I was more interested in fonts. What promises to be an intriguing look at the most divisive typeface this side of Comic Sans – the all-conquering Helvetica – too often turns pretentious and self-indulgent when trying to evaluate the role that fonts play in articulating, obscuring or subverting the message they’re meant to convey; in theory a very interesting idea. Much of the problem lies with the interviewees, who are mostly pretty insufferable, either talking very pedantically about letter shape or spouting hideously superficial Sugar Ape-like bollocks. One very confusing American graphic designer says, hopefully joking, that Helvetica was “the font of the Iraq War”. Tsk, you can sponsor anything these…
Well yeah, I'm surprised that a doc featuring white people being excited over fonts is actually insightful and interesting. It's nothing mind-blowing but I'll be paying more attention to how we use letters in advertisement and media. Probably would've liked this better if I was into design, though.
I am a typographer, and so this movie speaks lovingly to a very specialized, nerdy part of myself. I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend that those not interested in type watch this, but it certainly would give uninterested parties a glimpse into a world they may never have thought about.
I'm always amazed at how many people with no design or typographic tendencies enjoy this documentary, and this alone is a testament to how well Hustwit put together the range of talking heads. He plays them off one another, but also sequences them in a way that doesn't lose the linear narrative following Helvetica's progression from initial creation to global ubiquity. Most enjoyable are the extreme opinions on show (the ranting Spiekermann being a standout).
This is my second viewing of Helvetica. The first was at a local film festival screening (after which the director, Gary Hustwit, answered some questions for the audience), and upon rewatching it I realised how much my enjoyment of the film was also influenced by…
Oh my god the boredom. Not a bad doc but.. Soooo boring.
watched in Visual Construction class btw
A rather dry documentary on a font that's practically everywhere in the world. Entertaining in patches but if you're a graphic design nut.....then this is the documentary for you.
A riveting documentary about how some designers love the font Helvetica, and others loathe it with a fiery passion.
It's a well-constructed documentary that is actually a bit above mildly interesting.
Right now you are reading Abril Text. Abril Text is the font of Letterboxd's reviews. Every review you read on Letterboxd in Desktop is in this font. Yet when I'm typing it out in the little pop up window (and from an app) it is in fact Lucidia Sans. It took me a while to make sure that was the right font and I might be wrong. I actually took a screen shot of my own screen and scanned it on a font website to discover what the font is. So Lucidia Sans is the font in which you type out your reviews on Letterboxd and Abril Text is the font in which it is published. After doing that I…
When my girlfriend suggested this movie I wasn't overly enthusiastic, a film about a font didn't exactly appeal to me.
Inevitably, I'm now going to say...
"I enjoyed this more than I expected you know! Wow, fonts! Who knew fonts were used all around us and we never even notice them! I will certainly be more conscious of the vast world of fonts that permeates so much of our daily lives, I may even take more care when choosing my own fonts!"
Which is true (and the latter part probably only for about 5 minutes), but no matter how well made the documentary is, no matter how soothed I was by hearing typographers passionately describe their craft, the fact is…
Helvetica changed the world. I like showing this in my Design classes. It helps make the students aware of typography and the world around them.
He's a Gemini
verdana and orator have always been my go-to fonts but tbh, i felt partly bad watching this because it made me realize that i've been underappreciating a font that has largely contributed to the typography industry all along.
in addition, the film also made me feel like i have this type of synesthesia called ordinal linguistic personification. it's cute to take a look at letters as if they're individuals--each one worthy of having bones, muscles, skin, and clothes.
but beyond its visual benefits, typographic expression really is an interesting topic. the film does not only give weight to the technicalities of typefaces and the superficiality of words, it also covers an overlooked fact regarding communication--just because something is legible doesn't mean it communicates.
as the credits rolled, i was sure of one thing: i'll never look at fonts the same way ever again.
I could watch this film over and over and over. And I guess I have.
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
Architecture, graffiti, pottery, industrial design, typography, painting, branding, photography, and a bit of dance for good measure.
It's a good…