Topics I Can't Even Believe Have Been Made Into Movies #1: Helvetica

Friday, June 25, 2010 12:49 PM By Simon

This will be a new thing on me site, y'see. Because I haven't watched any obviously cheap movies, or done anything atypically associated with 'bored', or considered any science-y stuff readily appliable to film (besides the questionably-scientific paradox), you all get a new one! Yay!

So, this is basically when I find out about and/or watch a movie with such a ridiculous topic, premise, or motivation, I had to lovingly ridicule it. So, gentle readers, I introduce to you:


This is a documentary about typography and graphic design. That is a fancy way of saying, it is about computer fonts. Specifically Helvetica, which is, depending on who you ask, is either among the most boring fonts, the most graceful and beautiful font, or is an old Victorian witch who was born on some impossible Russian peninsula and raised on boiling Liger blood.

Invented in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer (which was, evidentally, a job) Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann. According to Wikipedia, "The film aims to show Helvetica's beauty and ubiquity, and illuminate the personalities that are behind typefaces. It also explores the rift between modernists and postmodernists, with the latter expressing and explaining their criticisms of the famous typeface." Because the font you use on your college resume is actually a deep, philisophical question.

(I'm not kidding, there was a guy at my school who was rejected from NYU for typing his resume in Courier)

The question of 'Which type is more obnoxious: Jokerman or Curlz MT?' is right up on my radar with 'Are we human or are we dancers?', you guys. I'll keep you posted.

IMDb link.

8 comments:

Mike Lippert said...

All I can think of is the Helvetica character in Shorts and that annoying songs that plays wheneven she is on screen.

June 25, 2010 at 1:58 PM
SugaryCynic said...

1. that is the dumbest shit I have ever heard in my life that just screams "I just graduated from an Arts college and all I got was this notion that people give a shit about my snootery"

2. my professors have a shit fit if we hand anything that is not Times New Roman (Arial is deserving of public humiliation)

3. "an old Victorian witch who was born on some impossible Russian peninsula and raised on boiling Liger blood" I would pay money to watch that movie

June 25, 2010 at 4:11 PM
Robert said...

Wow, that's scary about the font-rejection. I'm actually going to be so paranoid now. No more arial for me. Haha.

But I did actually see Helvetica, and it's actually pretty interesting.

June 25, 2010 at 9:04 PM
Hal said...

It's all about comic sans.

June 26, 2010 at 1:52 PM
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