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Helvetica (2007)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,548 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 30 critic

A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

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Title: Helvetica (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Manfred Schulz ...
Himself
Massimo Vignelli ...
Himself
Rick Poynor ...
Himself
Wim Crouwel ...
Himself
Matthew Carter ...
Himself
Alfred Hoffmann ...
Himself
Mike Parker ...
Himself
Otmar Hoefer ...
Himself
Bruno Steinert ...
Himself
Hermann Zapf ...
Himself
Michael Bierut ...
Himself
Leslie Savan ...
Herself
Tobias Frere-Jones ...
Himself
Jonathan Hoefler ...
Himself
Erik Spiekermann ...
Himself
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Storyline

A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Гельветика  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Rick Poynor: Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain coloring.
Michael Bierut: Everywhere you look you see typefaces. But there's one you probably see more than any other one, and that's Helvetica. You know, there it is, and it seems to come from no where. You know, it seems like air? It seems like gravity?
Jonathan Hoefler: And it's hard to evaluate it. It's like being asked what you think about off-white paint. It's just... it's just there. And it's hard to ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Objectified (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Central Nervous Piston
Written and Performed by El Ten Eleven
Vopar Music/Go Champale Music
Courtesy of Bar/None Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Highly Unusual and Insightful Documentary
17 March 2007 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

Helvetica screened this week at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX where it was very well-received. In a million years it would never have occurred to me to do a documentary on a type font. The film makers somehow came up with the idea of doing a cultural history of the Helvetica font which has become the almost universal default modern font over the past 50 years. Fonts are almost like the air we breathe. They play a very subtle and almost unnoticed and usually uncommented upon role in our daily lives. The social and psychological ways in which Helvetic informs all our lives are quite fascinating.

Helvetica is a humorous film that combines a series of interview clips with a variety of often rather quirky graphic font designers with shot of various street signs and corporate logos. The film provides a great deal of insight into the role of the Helvetica font in shaping Western culture. Helvetica is both entertaining and informative in that it provides great insight into a ubiquitous aspect of modernity about which most of us are completely oblivious. I hope that many people get the opportunity to see this unusual and insightful film, because it opens a fascinating window for better understanding our society. Since versions of Helvetica are also the default font on most computers, many of us type in Helvetica constantly without even realizing it.

As I walked home from the film, I couldn't help noticing that many of the street signs in Austin appeared to be in Helvetica.


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