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Helvetica, a documentary film
January 25, 2007 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Helvetica, a documentary film. "Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives."
posted by londontube (25 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
The filmmakers will be following up with a fascinating piece about the evolution of bullet points.
posted by graymouser at 8:20 AM on January 25, 2007


from site's page-source:

p.body {
font-size: 10px;
font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans;
letter-spacing: 0px;
color: #333333;
line-height: 13px;
}


Which I found amusing. Still, neat idea for a flick.
posted by mwhybark at 8:20 AM on January 25, 2007


I think a good documentary about typography is long over due. I'm interesting to see how they approach it.
posted by empath at 8:21 AM on January 25, 2007


It's going to take a lot to improve on Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:27 AM on January 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


that movie looks like a real snore.
posted by phaedon at 8:27 AM on January 25, 2007


Weren't the old Onion "advice" columns called "Ask a Fontographer"? Wherein the advice given would be hilariously irrelevant to the task at hand. Hilarious I tell you!
posted by sandking at 8:29 AM on January 25, 2007


Dashed hopes for a good movie right from the title. Everyone knows Helvetica is an overrated hack that just gets parts like this because its so well-known. Luckily this time, I don't think they'll cast Comic Sans as the sidekick, so at least we're spared that embarrassment. I mean as far as front men go, why not some of the classic performers like Caslon, or Garamond? Or even one of the new up-and-comers like Slimbach or Caecilia?

I'm just afraid this will be typical Hollywood fluff with a bunch of overblown car chase scenes.
posted by effwerd at 8:42 AM on January 25, 2007


font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans;
Well, sure. Most people probably don't even have Helvitica on their computers at all. And Verdana looks better on a low-res computer display anyway; that's what it was invented for.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:46 AM on January 25, 2007


I don't speak Swiss.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 AM on January 25, 2007


Will it be a family picture?
posted by sfts2 at 9:14 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm still waiting for Comic Sans. *ducks*
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:14 AM on January 25, 2007


Tahoma is a wonderful font.
posted by tadellin at 9:39 AM on January 25, 2007


Helvetica's the iPhone system font, and might be the system font in Leopard.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:41 AM on January 25, 2007


I've got Georgia on my mind.
posted by kimota at 9:58 AM on January 25, 2007


Helvetica is also the #1 font of all time, according to a panel of designers and type experts.

Babelfish translation of their About page:
How does one arrange a canon of the best Fonts? We put on and weighted objective and two subjective measuring poles as follows:
Sales figures: 40%
historical meaning: 30%
aesthetic quality: 30%
[via via]

Typographica's take on the film.

A Brief History of Helvetica

Is it Arial or Helvetica? quiz. How to spot Arial cheat-sheet, plus The Scourge of Arial.

Helvetica Lovers Anonymous
posted by kirkaracha at 9:59 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I came across the website for this film some months ago back when they were still in the process of making it (as in filming it, post production hadn't started).

I am enough of a typography dilettante that I am way more excited at the prospect of a good documentary like this one than I probably should be.

It's directed by a guy who worked on the excellent Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. I've wanted to see his Moog documentary for a while now too.
posted by sparkletone at 10:56 AM on January 25, 2007


It's going to take a lot to improve on Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black.

This was so AWESOME. Who ever did that I will give them money. Real money. Not that funny money I have been passing around lately.

When I worked at Cole & Webber in the Production Studio back in the day we had the typical handmade studio in-joke posters like:

You can have any font you want. As long as it's Helvetica.

Auto kerning is for pussies.

If you have to ask. It's Helvetica.

Use Hobo. Go to Jail.

Greymantle. It's the new Cooper Black
posted by tkchrist at 11:13 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


People who torrent this movie would steal sheep.
posted by hal9k at 11:50 AM on January 25, 2007


The client blanched, wiped the blood spatter from his face and asked "That's quite a presentation. So what do you call yourselves?"

The Ultra Bodonis!
posted by hal9k at 11:55 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Ultra Bodonis!

HAH!
posted by tkchrist at 12:14 PM on January 25, 2007


Who ever did that I will give them money. Real money. Not that funny money I have been passing around lately.

It was this guy. Btw, there's a better quality version here.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2007


Does Comic Sans die in the end?
posted by WerewolvesRancheros at 1:30 PM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I would be thrilled to see this if its focus weren't Helvetica (aka "hay guys let's see how tight we can track it!1!!").

I'll still wind up seeing it, though.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:52 PM on January 25, 2007


As a veteran of Compugraphic, I have always loved typefaces. Thanks for this thread! (Souvenir Demi is my all time favorite. Too bad ITC, Adobe, etc are as bad as the RIAA as far as stifling use goes.)
posted by DesbaratsDays at 3:32 PM on January 25, 2007


In other not-so-news: US Bans Courier New
posted by DesbaratsDays at 5:35 AM on January 26, 2007


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