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SI 520 Graphic Design | Kevin Champion

Helvetica/Gary Hustwit/2007

• I've seen this film before and enjoyed it quite a bit. I never realized the pervasiveness
of Helvetica type in the physical and digital environment. I think it is interesting to
reflect upon the role that the advent of computers has played in the general
knowledge and understanding of typefaces. In addition, I enjoyed learning a little bit
about how type was created before the computer age.
• This film is informational. It introduces the indispensable role of typefaces in our lives,
introduces us to many of the most influential typographers over the last 50 years, and
gives us a visual history of Helvetica's creation and success.
• The primary audience is lay and popular in nature. It spends a lot of time and effort
explaining and illustrating things, something that probably would not be necessary if it
was made for other typographers or even other artists generally. This film is for and
can appeal to anyone.
• It is 100% relevant to this course because graphic design often requires the use of
text which requires the use of different fonts/typefaces. So, understanding the history
of typefaces and in particular understanding the importance and impact of the
Helvetica typeface is very helpful to thinking about designing text elements in addition
to the other visual elements of any graphic design.
• According to the film, type influences all aspects of our lives, in small ways and large.
They spend a lot of effort trying to point out all of the ways in which type affects are
lives, often in ways that we take for granted. I imagine the goal of the film's creators
might be to cause people to notice a little more the role of type in their everyday lives
(if not to notice explicitly the impact of Helvetica and its pervasive use).