|Formats:||Ex DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel|
|Run time:||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Rental release:||26 Nov 2007|
Most helpful review
How can font be so interesting??By Ange (30 reviews) from London , 10 Apr 2008
[Highly rated reviewer]Helvetica is a gently paced documentary exploring typography and design through the past century, focussing on the ubiquitous font, Helvetica. Geeky? You betcha! But also very interesting, if you have any interest at in visual communication, you'll appreciate the detailed discussions both for and against Helvetica. Plus, it's a great insight into how a font is designed, what makes a font work, how the meaning of something can be affected by font, etc.
I would not recommend this film to anyone who isn't interested on some level in graphic design, but if you are it is interesting, informative and quite eye opening! One viewing, and you'll be spotting Helvetica all over the place!!
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Passionate about TypographyBy Tish2 (157 reviews) from London , 10 Oct 2013I know a little bit about typography, so I thought that this documentary celebrating the 50th birthday of Helvetica might be of interest, and it was. A wide range of designers were interviewed to share their views on typeface and design in general, from Wim Crouwel who was born in 1928 and is known for work that it is based in the International Typographic Style to Experimental Jet, a contemporary group who created the packaging of the Blu-Ray edition of the Helvetica DVD. Im neither for or against said font, but the interviewees were passionate about their subject, some feeling that its universality brought order to the chaos of 1950s design, and others, such as Paula Scher who saw it as representing the establishment and preferring a more experimental use of lettering over and above an omnipresent typeface. As well as examining the history of Helvetica the documentary also raises many other design issues, and although I found Erik Spiekermann a little irritating he was very funny when it came to his opinions about the use of the font by the Microsoft Corporation. Apparently they didn't want to pay a licensing fee for using it so commissioned Ariel to be created instead, although other designers believe that its design roots come from Monotype Grotesque and not Helvetica at all. The movie also looks at the way in which new technology has impinged upon the industry as well as the insidious way in which advertising influences people to part with their money; the summation by the critic Rick Poynor at the end of the DVD extras is particularly inspiring. The extras are longer than the documentary itself so the whole package is definitely value for money; although like me you may suffer from a serious typography overload after watching this film.
Now all I see is Helvetica!By Rushcroft (7 reviews) , 15 Feb 2012You will enjoy this if you are interested in typography / design.
The people interviewed offer you an insight into world of a designer and there are some real characters.
Really nicely shot.
Once you have seen this documentary the world looks a slightly different place.
Unexpectedly disappointingBy a customer from Scotland , 04 Feb 2011I had looked forward to this film, as I have always had an interest in typefaces and graphic design. But although the film was intermittently interesting, I thought it tragic that it completely ignored the pioneering and hugely influential work of Johnston and Gill and their successors, which preceded Helvetica by over 40 years. It was ironic that there was a shot of a London bus, without mentioning the world-beating design work of London Transport in the 1930s, or the British road signage revolution of the 1960s.
Let's all say 'ubiquitous'By danieljparsons (118 reviews) from Ashford , 19 Apr 2010Often interesting, sporadically fascinating documentary on the popular font. It's a little too exhaustive for such a niche subject, but it's handsomely filmed and edited and has a quite brilliant music score.
Hey, it's a doc on a font; there's not much else I can write.
Best in Class. . .By Bish101 (1 review) from Newcastle Upon Tyne , 21 Mar 2010
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideBest documentary about a font I have ever seen.
Maybe the best documentary about a font that I will ever see.
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