I really enjoyed watching Helvetica, mostly because before starting in Graphics, I had no idea how much time and thought went into picking typefaces. Sure, when I made a new word document, I spent a couple seconds – a minute at most – deciding what “Font” would be best for it. Normally choosing from Times New Roman and something stupid like Ketchup. Yes, i’m guilty of having used Ketchup. Starting with the resume project, I started to see how important the correct typeface is to any piece of work and also how many choices there are for typeface. But watching Helvetica was a whole other story. The men and women that narrated the documentary have spent their lives learning, living, and making type. To them, the wrong typeface choice is not only a very big deal, but is quite glaringly obvious. I’d had no idea how often Helvetica was used and how frequently I see it in my every day life. The movie flashed tons of images of different storefronts and restaurants that had names printed proudly in Helvetica. Not only did I not know previously that they were written in Helvetica, but I tend to forget that someone even picked out the type for the name. You just walk around, taking that kind of thing for granted. But there is someone working behind the scenes, always picking what type is best to match each business, company, restaurant, etc. The documentary made me realize that the creation of typeface is a long and tedious process and goes through many, many phases and changes. I also found it very interesting that certain people in the documentary thought Helvetica was way overrated and used too often. But other people thought it was a god send, perfect for almost any project.

The film just really opened my eyes to just how many people work on typeface and how important it is to everything we make. It also made me realize that typeface is not something directly connected with technology and computers. Type has been evolving since before we can remember and has been important since people started documenting.


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