A movie on Font??

February 5, 2008 at 8:10 am (graphic design) (, , )

It almost surprised me, as to what a movie about Font might be like! Well, you never know – curiously enough I grabbed a popcorn and slipped into darkness. Intentionally went late into the movie, because to begin with I was not too lookin fwd to see a documentary on Fonts!

HelveticaBut what do you know? It was anything but boring, kinda interesting to see beyond what we almost take for granted. A history behind the font Helvetica. I guess its the only movie made about a Font. Visit www.helveticafilm.com for details. This font was created about 50 yrs back, however it is still used to communicate effectively, in a rather bold, confident way. Many fonts have come and gone, but Helvetica has stayed on. It was funny how Arial was called the evil brother of Helvetica.

Certain fonts evoke some quasi-emotional response when we look at them, and we almost unconsciously establish a relationship (friendly or otherwise) with the product or brand that we see. Even if we know nothing about it. Graphic designers use this trick to trap us all the time. Some brands use the same characteristics of the fonts (color, width, weight), you can almost certainly say the product from the font. Though some of it is learned, but they establish a relationship with us over time. Like you can tell a New York Life ad even though the name may not appear anywhere. Same with E*Trade, with Crate&Barrel, with Starbucks! We almost make up our mind one way just looking at the way the fonts are laid out in front of us…[BusineessWeek article on effectiveness of Helvetica!]

HelveticaSo why Helvetica? Its bold & beautiful. Its confident. Its on-your-face, yet gentle. As someone in the movie described, its not as if letters are floating on the screen, its as if letters are engraved or cut into the screen and the other whitespace (or whatever color) around it are tightly holding the letters! Its an effective font, if you want to make a statement with fewest letters.

Here’s the link to the “Helvetica Film“!

Had the opportunity to hear about the making of the movie after the screening form the maker himself, Gary Hustwit.

And of course I couldn’write this post with any other Font 🙂


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