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October 10, 2013

Rachel Joyce SI 520

Helvetica: Critique notes

Name of documentary: Helvetica Produced and Directed by: Gary Hustwit Editor: Shelby Siegel Production of Swiss Dots Ltd. Year: 2007

Is it "informational" or "promotional"?
I believe that the documentary is informational because the people focus on sharing information about Helvetica and its uses. The speakers also discuss the history of Helvetica and dimensions of its typeface. The documentary does not try and convince anyone to use Helvetica, but does promote Helvetica for its elegancy. Although the speaker do promote Helvetica, the focus is more about information sharing.

Who is the primary audience it aimed at?

The documentary focuses on the life of designers and design/typeface history, therefore, I believe the primary audience are designers or people interested in typefaces. However, the people in the documentary also mention that everyone views/uses Helvetica, so its secondary audience includes everyone that views/uses type.

What is the relevance of it to specic areas/topics of our course?

We learn about and study the uses of typefaces and the differences between typefaces. In this class, we learn how to better represent ideas through our typeface choice. The speakers in Helvetica shared their professional experience involving typefaces. One speaker mentioned the importance of clarity, and demonstrated that Helvetica expresses clarity. He also explained that Helvetica is considered a neutral typeface. The information that the speakers shared are very relevant to our study of typeface and their uses.

According to the lm, how does type affects our lives?

The film often shows examples of uses of Helvetica in corporate logos. This showed that font effects marketing and consumer choice. One speaker talked excitedly about Helvetica being refreshing and clean. Helvetica helps advertisers (especially in the 50s) be more to the point (ex: Coca Cola). Even if a person is not aware that they are being effected by typeface, typeface still effects the person. Type creates a feeling/experience for the reader.

Will you use Helvetica for your future graphic projects?

I will use Helvetica when I want to use a neutral font. I will also use Helvetica when I want the message to be very clear.