Slight Changes Make a Big Difference

Part 1

The movie Helvetica exposed me to a whole new way of viewing the world. Often times, the most most obvious things in life go unseen and this fact especially holds true when it comes to typography. Immediately after seeing the movie, I realized it was all around me. Before, I used to think the fonts of street signs, store banners, and advertisements were arbitrarily chosen. Now I have an idea of the seemingly benign intricacies that go into the artistry of typefaces. Helvetica is a perfect example. In this case, simplicity is key. It is smooth, to the point, and modern. Today, it pervades every part of life to the point that it is inescapable. So much so that its ubiquity has been associated to with everything it touches. In the movie, artist went crazy for Helvetica, drawing parallels between the it and war, oppressive systems of government, and the cutthroat nature of businesses. And while the opinions express were powerful, no one could quite wrap there head around it. No other style of lettering had this sort of effect and, while some may try to be critical of Helvetica, no other typeface would be appropriate.

Part 2 

The most important thing I learned about type in the second chapter was how much a slight difference(such as weight and size) to a letter can convey a completely different meaning. These are things that usually go over the average person’s head but as a designer, these suddle differences are what really communicates to the reader. These differences aren’t just limited to the message being transferred but also the time period. One of the last things people think when they see typefaces is history but the typeface itself can reflect history. The uses of color, size, and font type can tell a lot about a time period and show how much society has progressed in terms of taste.

Jean Degraphe

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