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Omid Farivar


The name of the movie is Helvetica. Its written/produced by Gary Hustwit. It came out in 2007. The video is supposed to be informational. Hustwit interviews designers and gets their experience/opinion with the typeface Helvetica. If the documentary was meant to be promotional, designers would be condoning use of the font and explaining why it should be used more often. For better or worse, this isnt in the videojust experiences and anecdotal monologues about the typeface. Designers do talk about how Helvetica was, at one point, fantastic (you would use it to immediately rid something of CRUD with Helvetica!) but no one mentions using it today. In fact, one designer was extremely against it. I would say the primary audience is actually the general public. It can be narrowed down a little more to people who have a slight interest in graphic design. There is nothing in the video that a layman could not understand. The documentary simply sheds light on a ubiquitous typeface. If youre watching the video and arent a designer, you can still find: the history of how it came to be, interviews with the designers, and how ubiquitous Helvetica is very interesting. Typography is a part of visual/graphic design, so the movie is most definitely relevant to SI 520. I would argue that picking the right font for a piece is just as important as picking colors, if not more. Its also mentioned that type is like airits everywhere and we usually dont pay attention to it. Another designer said that a designer choosing typefaces is like a casting director choosing what actors to play what roles. As they say, fonts are everywhere. They are not noticed most of the time since many fonts are neutral and are simply there to hold/display content for people to read. Other times, certain fonts are chosen in order to convey a certain meaning or style. Typefaces are most definitely a part of visual design and can be used to enhance the way information is presented. I cant really say no because of how ubiquitous it is. Im sure Ill eventually find a use for it in something. However, I can think of 4-5 sans-serif fonts that I prefer over Helvetica in every situation. That sounds really snobby and nerdy but its true! I just really get sick of seeing it everywhere and really dislike how bland it is sometimes. All that said, though, I like Helvetica Neue Light. I think its really modern and sexy. Normal Helvetica = probably not, but a variation like Neue Light = yes.