“Helvetica” Documentary Reflection

Typeface Designers have different opinions, especially when it comes to convey their thoughts. In “Helvetica” documentary, the emergence and influence of swiss styles and two opposing parties on the issue of how the modern society evaluates “Helvetica”. The film pinpoints how time period, context, and circumstance, have contributed to different visual feelings and user experiences. It helps us to understand why the Typeface Designers think differently.

The first group of designers have experienced the World War II or aftermath. They understand the need for a clear, and good typeface for everything after the devastating World War II. It was a social responsibility to reconstruct a typeface that is more modern and democratic in an intelligent way. When “Helvetica” was introduced, it was clear, readable, and straightforward. Moreover, this swiss typeface represented idealism and neutralism, which gave a meaning to the content rather than the typeface itself.

On the other hand, the later generations perceived Helvetica differently. They grew up seeing Helvetica everywhere. According to the Law of Diminishing Returns, the more usage of Helvetica created less predictability of the typeface. These typeface designers realized that there was a need for change. They needed new typefaces that could represent personalities because communication might be lost by using a “boring” uniform typeface.


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