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Helvetica

Before today, I had no idea the impact that the font Helvetica has had on my life. I never thought anything of it and certainly didn’t realize that I came into contact with it on such a day to day basis. Throughout the film, I found it fascinating how the font was given such character. It is so much more than just a typeface, it has a personality.

The first thing that I found so interesting was towards the beginning of the film, when a man was describing the process of making a Helvetica font. He begins with the lowercase letter ‘h.’ He designs the curves and chooses its lines, and then moves on to the letter ‘o.’ He decides how these two letters should interact and watches to make sure they are cohesive on the page. It had never occurred to me that the common typefaces that I use every day were actually created, discussed, and so thought out.

I also enjoyed learning about Helvetica’s history. The movie stated that the font had been around for 15+ years and has evolved a lot since its beginning. The font began with a different name, and came to be because people felt that there was a strong need for a new sans-serif font to break into the market. I was shocked to hear about how many brands I interact with on a daily basis that use the Helvetica font: Target, Nestle, Energizer, North Face, Staples, etc. and all the bands that I grew up listening to that use Helvetica: U2, The Beatles, Run DMC, etc. I had seriously thought nothing of this font until viewing the film in class today. It challenged my perception of the world around me and made me think more about my daily interactions with Helvetica.

Natalie Landsberg

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