Sunday, July 26, 2009

helvetica : the movie

this is absolutely a classic! understanding typography, its characteristics, its usage, its qualities, its impact, and its artistic beauty, is something that all scholar designers learn in-depth during their graduate studies. this documentary encompasses all of that, and really takes a deep look at how typography is used in our culture and how it affects us in our daily lives. those on unfamiliar territory may even get an understanding of what good typography is. some natural talents might have an inherent intuition of good and bad typography, but those are far and few. for the rest of us, a good schooling is a needed exercise in achieving this knowledge. this movie is a small bridge to that destination.

i myself come from a very classic schooling. i actually studied during five years at both concordia university in montreal and ocad in toronto before graduating in graphic design, formerly referred to as commercial arts. in that time i completed three courses in typography alone. so you might ask "what the heck can there be to learn about typography to fill up three years worth of content?" obviously, i cannot say in a short blog post. besides, if you’re not a designer you might actually not care that much either. but if you do, the movie helvetica is a very good documentary on the functions and complexities of typography in our modern world, starting with the font helvetica itself at the core of its history. in other words, i would say that helvetica is to typography what shakespeare is to literature.

so if you haven’t yet seen it, i highly recommend this documentary to all those who appreciate typography. if you’re not a designer you might fail to see some of the humour of this classic film, but if you are of the old school of design and advertising, i promise you, you will love this movie!

here is the official movie preview, and more can be found on their official site here, plus some documentary information at imdb. now if all you watch are the previews, you will still get a little taste of helvetica! and if you like what you see, like a delicious hors d’oeuvre... you will probably want to go back for more!


Maria Killam said...

Fascinating. I would love to understand more about type, I even bought a book about it on-line and have never opened it. Shows you how committed I actually am to that :)

guylaine rondeau said...

the movie is a beautiful excursion into that world... and a little less cerebral than a book! ;)

Maria Killam said...

Guylaine, I'm tagging you too (OMG so sorry you should have been on my list) which blog do you want me to link to)