After watching “Helvetica” and reading the beginning of “Thinking with Type,” I realized how often I take text (Is typography the correct term here?) for granted. We interact with so many different typefaces and fonts on a daily basis, yet you probably will never know the name of the typeface or the designer. Someone spent so much time designing each letter and taking into account the subtleties needed to distinguish different fonts. And the majority of the population shows no real appreciation for those subtleties. I found it very interesting in “Thinking with Type” to see the names of the different typefaces and get a little background on their creators.
During the film when they show how Helvetica was used so universally, I felt sad because I thought the point of the film was going to be that because Helvetica works, everyone should use it. While it clearly is a successful typeface, I appreciate distinctiveness and didn’t like that the same typeface was representing so many different things. I was happy when they interviewed the designers who were not afraid to use or created different typefaces that were fresh and still “worked.” I especially liked Michael Place’s work.
While I learned more about typefaces, the technical terms for letters, I most definitely gained a larger appreciation for designers and the amount of time they put into their work.