If you aren’t a graphic designer or a visual artist of any kind, you probably haven’t given much thought to the visual impact of font let alone in an in-depth capacity the likes of which the 2007 Helvetica documentary covers.
Writers contend with choosing between Times New Roman or Calibri. Presenters may choose a fun font to bring some spice to their presentation. But, generally, most people see a typeface they like and they roll with it. We’re not examining why certain fonts appear better to us than others, or why some seem to capture a certain emotion or feeling.
Though the Helvetica documentary is a snapshot in time taken 14 years ago, it still gets to the meat of why the typeface Helvetica is so ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives. It all boils down to design and readability.
Experts have compared the typeface to McDonald’s and off-white paint. However, its dominance in design doesn’t mean it’s well-loved either. Just because something is everywhere doesn’t mean it’s inspiring anyone, and it certainly isn’t cutting edge. Helvetica is simply a font that’s there for most people, like grass or the wind.
Where to stream the Helvetica documentary
But the Helvetica documentary doesn’t just go into the typeface’s history. It also explores its use, why it’s so prevalent in design work, its evolution over the decades, as well as the move away from its use for other more exciting but readable typefaces.
The doc is an informative watch for those interested in the process behind typeface design and how Helvetica became the default font for most commercial businesses.
Watch the trailer below:
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