The World in Helvetica

I found this documentary to be quite intriguing. My favorite aspect of the entire thing had to have been the characters. I thought each one had a strong and distinct personality and brought forth a new perspective on Helvetica and typefaces in general. I never realized that:

  • Helvetica is everywhere! I never paid attention to it before, but Helvetica truly is the universal font. I probably never noticed it before because it became comfortable. To blend in, use Helvetica. To stand out, use anything but.
  • There is so much debate among artists/designers regarding Helvetica. I found it humorous that the characters all had very different feelings about Helvetica and its use. They either loved it or they hated it with few and far between.
  • There was a rebellion to Helvetica through the use of grunge and non-traditional fonts. I was amazed by the work of the one character who described the “rebellion” of sorts against Helvetica and conventional design. His work impressed and peaked my interest the most. His creativity and natural sense of design in need of interpretation made masterpieces of words and letters. I want to see more of his artwork (does anyone know his name?).
  • It is still unmatched in today’s world. To me personally, I always chose fonts based on obscure personal preferences. I was actually surprised to find that before watching the documentary, I had chosen Helvetica as a font within my resume without thinking or realizing it. I do not consider myself artistically inclined or observant, so I find this to be very interesting. It made me realize that the claims in the documentary are true. Helvetica is familiar and therefore comfortable for people to look at. It is almost like air, it’s everywhere but no one seems to think anything of it.



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