11/29/2007

Just As I Suspected...

I watched the Helvetica movie. It was excellent.

I really questioned how the director could keep me interested in such a mundane topic for 80 minutes. Surprisingly, it wasn't too tough. First, it was neat to see the degree to which we are surrounded by Helvetica each and every day. It's something most of us (i.e.: Everyone except the people in the film) take for granted. It first gained popularity during the Modernist movement and became the go-to typeface for corporations looking to establish an identity. The movie traces its history, including some examples of designers who rebelled against Helvetica.

The movie focuses on Helvetica, but is more a study of graphic design in general. I love how movies like this can expose us to quirky people who are passionate about weird things like typeface. Granted, these kinds of films are a little dry, but if you have any sort of attention span they can really be fascinating.

11 comments:

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Because, at least since I've started reading your blog, you tend to review documentaries favorably, I'm interested to know if there have ever been you hated.

Splotchy said...

chris, you may cause me to start up the old Netflix rental thingy. I've been considering it, and definitely want to see this doc.

Not to spoil it for anyone, but do they deal with how the Helvetica typeface has fared on computers? Wasn't Helvetica the go-to typeface for Apple when it was first coming out with the Mac?

Hot Lemon said...

did the objectors say that is was HELL-vettica? I mean, what's there to object ABOUT?? *SERIFS*?!

Chris said...

TLWDL: I can't say I've ever hated a documentary. Every one that I've seen has had something to offer. There was one I saw called "The Journey" that was pretty low on my list. I thought the subject of the film was a little annoying and it was kind of cheeseball-ish. Still, it did have at the least a lot of semi-candid, unscripted interaction, a movie element that always intrigues me. I like how documentaries show a side of humanity that is not often given access anywhere else in the media. Anybody can be in a documentary. Well done documentary film, to me, is the pinnacle of filmmaking.

Splotchy- Apple and Microsoft were mentioned in the film, but I think the only thing that they talked about was how they both used Helvetica in the early days (and now) and that was it.

When I look at the films I've seen through Netflix, films that I never would have been exposed to unless I bought them over the internet, I really have been satisfied with the job they do. I can't speak for others, but I have always gotten movies quickly. The few times there were problems (scratched DVD, etc.) it was corrected immediately. I've been using them for a while. Since I've joined, the price has dropped and services have increased. You can now watch 17 hours worth of an impressive selection of movies in addition to the three you get in the mail. As soon as a film is available, Netflix has it. Naturally, there are times when a lot of people want the same movie (Like "Hearts Of Darkness" just came out) and you may have to wait, but it's never too long. Crap, I should be a fuckin' Netflix salesman!

HL: All the anti-Helvetica people were dirty hippies who were still living in some sort of Woodstock haze (I'm exaggerating).

Hot Lemon said...

Oh, well if they're THAT sorta' people, then *I'm* against helvettica, too!! Yarr!!

GETkristiLOVE said...

I noticed that after watching the movie, you didn't use the "f word" once. See Splotchy!!!

I have to move it to the top of my queue just for that reason.

Also, another tidbit from your resident graphic artist - I think it was Apple that owned the rights to Helvetica so that's why back in the 80's, Microsoft products had to call their spinoff Arial. There are slight differences between Arial and Helvetica so that they could claim it as a different typeface. But the funny thing is, if you printed a doc in Arial to an HP printer (who had bought the rights too), it would convert it to the resident typeface on the printer, which was usually Helvetica.

SkylersDad said...

Wow Chris, did anybody get shot in the film or was there at least a car chase?

vikkitikkitavi said...

Why don't they make a documentary about that horrid, awful, putrid typeface "Comic Sans"?

I HATE Comic Sans. Whoever invented it is just pure evil.

Splotchy said...

For the record, kristi, I learned my lesson back when you punched me in the gut for saying "font", and am currently spreading your insane typeface gospel like a MS Word Macro virus.

Pavel Chekov said...

You're very elaborate. I would've just admitted to the Mrs. that I was going to the pub for a pint with the lads.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Thank you Splotchy!