Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Inspiration – Helvetica

I finally had an opportunity to watch Helvetica! As a graphic designer and occasional font nerd, this was on my "Must Watch" list for some time. I was not disappointed!

Several things about this film lit my fire. First, it is a well made film and would be of interest to anyone that is conscious of contemporary design or aware of the media messages all around them. It doesn't talk down to the audience, nor does it overwhelm with too much designer jargon.

The second thing that really got me going was hearing all of the design "rock stars" share their opinions. Watching and listening to them in contrast to one another was a blast. What personalities! Some are just as annoying and egotistical as one would expect, while others were quite charming. Also, the film's linear historical presentation put each designer's perspective into a very effective context.

The film focuses a good deal on the contrast between two perspectives/theories on how typography should function in design: type as a purveyor of message vs. type as communicating message in and of itself. Can (or should) a font carry it's own intrinsic meaning? I tend to lean towards the latter expressive use of type, but I also respect and admire the former, utilitarian sensibility.

If you are in need of some typographic inspiration, Helvetica is a surefire source!


Trina said...

Thanks for this note - I shall keep an eye out for it, being an occasional font nerd myself!

Connie said...

Oh I have to see this!!

You know...that damn commercial art class killed my desire to be a designer...but there is still a big chunk of my heart that is in love with type.

Peace & Love.