Helvetica by Gary Hustwit was a great film showing how today’s culture uses type, both successes and failures. The typeface that consumes the majority of today’s typography is Helvetica. This film shows this typeface in the most uncertain of places and emphasizes its timeless quality through its over usage and by interviewing several notable designers. Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Hermann Zapf, Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson, Alfred Hoffmann, Otmar Hoefer, Leslie Savan, and Lars Müller are only a few of the designers who give their opinion of Helvetica and how they define their own design. I found it interesting to see the old, charming Haas Type Foundry in Switzerland and its transfer to the big business Linotype.
I thought this was a really great film. I am so much more aware of typefaces in everyday life. A lot of the designers from this movie talk about how there are so much horrible signage and the only thing they need is to change their type to Helvetica. Design needs to be simplistically timeless. Max Miedinger designed Helvetica in 1957 and in 2011 it is the most used typeface in everyday signage. This shows how good design is timeless and has no expiration date. Its helpful to reemphasize these foundational concepts in my own work and by using Helvetica it can strip away any distractions and shows only the big ideas that need to be communicated.