Helvetica (Gary Hustwit, 2007)
A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.
The first instalment of Gary Hustwit on design and the humanized world surrounding our contemporary urban lives is about typography and more specifically on the font Helvetica. Presented as it is it seems like a “geek” documentary about a very technical subject. Well, it is far from being bothering and the relevance of the subject is not put in your face but you quickly get it with all the brands and publicities presented that features the font and its many forms.
Without voiceovers and letting all the right time to the type designers to explain their points of view, we have the witness of those how were working at the time the font was designed. They are called modernists of the post-War period. It is interesting to get the many views on the evolution of the designs of types and how some “schools” or “waves” have evolved.
It is impressive to discover how just a simple choice of type can change our vision about something. It is interesting to observe how products, brands, advertising, and plain and simple consumption is now the center of our lives and how it is presented and sold to us is related to Helvetica. Recommended.