Friday, 22 October 2010

A Font of Information

From an off-hand reference to this, I vaguely remembered there was such a movie, so hunted it down. A documentary about a typeface? Not the first subject matter that leaps to mind.

And yet, hey, a documentary, I'll give it a go! (I need to find a good list of documentaries that interest me so I can find yet more to watch. Anyone know of one?)

This movie is more a celebration of Helvetica, and its place in society, only lightly touching on how it was created and developed. Interesting, yes, but could have been more. Helvetica is now presented as being the typeface of the age, with everyone using it for the most common of signs. (That said, this isn't in Helvetica... then again, this might all depend on the font the browser is set to.)

We get many talking heads, and lots of shots of signs. A little of graphical design in practice, and while mention is made of "how this looks", there isn't actual analysis of what makes a type face work, which I would like to have seen.

While there is talk about people coming up with other options, there doesn't seem to be a common standard against Helvetica. I was thinking that this is the IBM of the typeface world... so where's Apple?

Overall, a halfway decent movie, with missed opportunities that could have made it a whole way...


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