Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Font fun

I watched this terrific documentary last night (now available on DVD). Helvetica traces the design and cultural impact of this 1950s Swiss font, through a series of interviews with a number of graphic and type designers around the world. These people are absolutely obsessed by typeface and it makes for extraordinary viewing. I particularly loved the interviews with Erik Spiekermann, a self-confessed "typomaniac" whose passion for fonts was inspiring. One may never want to use "Arial" again after hearing what he has to say about its creation (make sure you check out the additional interviews in the "extras"). There's a nice mixture of designers who absolutely idolize Helvetica and others who swear they will never, ever use the font in their work. One even mischievously suggests it could be partly responsible for the Vietnam and Iraq wars. But these are the unsung people behind our urban, corporate and cultural landscapes and this film definately opens your eyes to the impact, beauty and power of typography.

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