Though I did gain a better understanding of the enormous amount of work that goes into creating a typeface after reading “Thinking with Type,” I was still surprised that a film existed on “Helvetica,” (and I was even more surprised that it was hour and a half long). To me, Helvetica was just a name for a basic typeface that I would occasionally see in the top left corner of Microsoft Word documents. However, as I watched the film I realized the immense amount of passion and fervor typographers and designers approach their work with, and it is that passion that allows an ostensibly simple typeface like Helvetica to convey so much meaning. One typographer, Erik Spiekermann, truly epitomized this passion in his statement, “Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I get kicks out of looking at type.”
I had not before realized the degree to which designers use their understanding of historical context and social trends to pick typefaces. I had not realized that Helvetica now seems commonplace because when it was developed it contrasted so greatly with the fluffy, often script, typefaces of the time that designers were eager to use it, and it eventually became overused. After watching the film, an hour and a half now seems like a short amount of time for all that I had learned from it.