Helvetica Movie Day

You’re in class assignment for next (Monday), is to watch this movie. Then in the comments section of this post before next Thursday, share your favorite quote from the movie and how you feel about the typeface Helvetica after watching it.

( I may have to approve your comments before it shows up, also the comments are time stamped when you submit them regardless of weather or not they have been approved )

22 responses to “Helvetica Movie Day

  1. “Maybe the feeling you have when you see particular typographic choices used on a piece of packaging is just like ‘I like the look of that, that feels good, that’s my kind of product.’ But that’s the type casting its secret spell.”

    After watching the movie, I still feel rather indifferent about the typeface Helvetica because it is a commonly used one and as a result of that, it is often overlooked and fades into the background like Arial and Times New Roman do.

  2. My favorite quote from this movie was “…you start to get a reaction against, what it seems to those designers is the conformity, the kind of dull blanket of sameness that this way of designing is imposing on the world.” This quote resinated with me as I appreciate the more unique aspects of graphic design. Through many creative activities in one of my other design classes, I have learned to appreciate the imperfections in design, as well as the excitement that can be conveyed through digital design. Because of this, I have mixed feelings about the typeface Helvetica. I have gained a greater appreciate for its clear legibility, it perfections, and how universal it is. I think it is extremely effective when used for signage, directions, labels, etc. However, I disagree with some of the points made towards the beginning of the movie. I do not think that it should be the only font that is used in design, as it lacks the expressive uniqueness that is a crucial part of graphic design.

  3. My favorite quote from the movie was “It’s the space between the notes that makes the music”. Massimo Vignelli made this comment while drawing the comparison between the silent moments in a song and the negative space in a typeface; he suggested that the negative space was just as important, if not more, as the type.

    After watching the movie, I can say that I definitely see Helvetica in a different light than I did before. Like many other art forms, I can see the beauty in the simplicity of a modern font like Helvetica while also seeing the more chaotic beauty that comes with a more “grunge” typography. David Carson made a comment about there being a fine line between powerful simplicity and boring simplicity, and I think hearing all of the different perspectives on the effectiveness of Helvetica makes it harder to decide which side of the line Helvetica falls on.

  4. “If you stand still and look at the world, it starts looking like Helvetica.” I appreciate the typeface even more than before. The film delves into the profound impact Helvetica has had on design, typography, and ultimately, our daily lives. It’s fascinating to see how something as seemingly simple as a typeface can become so deeply ingrained in our culture and visual landscape.

  5. I don’t have a favorite quote, but my favorite scene was when he was in the streets pointing to everything that had a Helvetica typeface. I thought it was really cute and funny, but also interesting seeing how many things are in Helvetica. I like Helvetica as a typeface because it is so iconic and surrounds us, and I also like how creative you can get with it.

  6. “It’s the typeface of the ’60s, it’s the typeface of the ’70s, it’s the typeface of the ’80s. It’s the typeface of now”. After watching this movie I had more of an appreciation for Helvetica typeface and how versatile it is, I also thought that it was interesting how much this typeface helped to shape the modern design aesthetics we know today.

  7. My favorite quote from this movie was “It’s gonna be clean and it’s not going to stand out”. This relates to how I use this font in my work. As an architecture student, I have a lot of experience with Helvetica because it’s the default typeface for portfolios and any presentations. Since it’s a sans-serif font, it doesn’t distract away from the work on the presentation. This movie fave me a different perspective on the typeface that it is a lot more than how I use it.

  8. For me Helvetica is just this beautiful, timeless thing. And certain things shouldn’t be messed with, you know? (michael e place)

    very simple comment, helvetica is truly timeless

  9. I really loved two quotes from this movie. My favorite graphic designer quote was “Graphic design is the communication framework through which these messages about what the world is now and what we should aspire to, is the way they reach us.” My favorite Helvetica-related quote was, “We were impressed with that because it was more neutral. It shouldn’t have a meaning in itself. The meaning is in the content of the text, not in the typeface, and that’s why we loved Helvetica very much.” I think it really exemplifies why people love Helvetica as a typeface.

    After watching the movie, I think I’ve grown more of an appreciation for the Helvetica typeface. Originally when I looked at Helvetica, I saw it as more of a standard, almost boring typeface because you see it everywhere in everyday life. But I agree with the messages of some of the people in the film where if the typeface is too over the top and not clear enough to read right away, it subtracts from the message behind the words themselves and I really like that point. Especially if there’s a standard typeface that’s used often in everyday life, you want it to be clear, modern, legible, and easy to understand.

  10. After watching Helvetica, I’ve come to realize just how much it’s a part of our daily lives. It’s everywhere, from signs on the street to logos on our favorite products. Massimo Vignelli’s quote, “Helvetica is like the smell of the city. It’s everywhere,” really stuck with me showing me just how ingrained this typeface is in our environment.

  11. My favorite quote from the movie was “The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.”. After watching the movie, my feelings about Helvetica changed after learning about its history and how much it effected society. I would have never guessed the amount of brands that use Helvetica in their logos. it genuinely did take over our society, but I do think the people that were saying that it should be the only typeface is incorrect. I think they’re are other really good ones out there that do not get the same recognition.

  12. I would say my favorite quote from the movie was “if something is a very important message and it’s set in a boring, nondescript way, the message can be lost.” I would say that the helvetica movie definitely made me appreciate it more as a typeface and what it has done for design. However, I would say I completely disagree with the sentiment that some of the designers expressed about believing helvetica should be used in all designs. While I appreciate that it is a classic, clean typeface, and it is great for certain spaces, I think that if we use it everywhere it would frankly be a bit boring, for lack of a better term. I also think it was very interesting to see the push and pull of modernist ideas versus postmodernist ideas reflected through the discussion of helvetica.

  13. After watching Helvetica, I’ve come to realize just how much it’s a part of our daily lives. It’s everywhere, from signs on the street to logos on our favorite products. Massimo Vignelli’s quote, “Helvetica is like the smell of the city. It’s everywhere,” this really stood out to me because it showed me just how ingrained this typeface is in our environment.

  14. “I’m very much a word person, so that’s why typography for me is the obvious extension. It just makes my words visible.”

    This quote means a lot in the type sense for a designer. Typography transforms words into something real, making them more appealing and accessible. It’s a powerful tool that allows people to bring their thoughts to life in a way that is meaningful to others.

  15. A quote that is short but I continue to find fascinating is “The way something is presented will define the way you react to it.” I loved how the film explored the psychological influences of typography. The Helvetica font is designed so carefully that for as simple as it looks, people are drawn to it. The many different examples of media/logos shown around the 40 minute mark were all immediately recognizable to me. I liked the counterpoint that was made as well: certain brands would never work with Helvetica, like Marlboro. It is so important that we have a universal font, but one way or another a brand is going to have to deviate from the path so that it can evoke a particular response from its audience.

  16. I really like “Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain coloring.” I think this quote really encapsulates the way I feel about type in graphic design. I find it comforting other people agree with that same sentiment. have always liked the Helvetica typeface, so seeing the different viewpoints on the type face and how argued its importance was really interesting to see.

  17. My favorite quote from the movie was “Just because something is legible doesn’t mean it communicates”. I think this quote is very true, especially in the Graphic Design world. When you are designing something you can’t just think about whether people can read it, you also have to think about whether it gets the message you are trying to show across. A design that really makes people think about what the message is and what they are supposed to be getting out of it is a lot more powerful than a design that just says the words.

    I think the Helvetica typeface is a really universal typeface that can be used in many different situations. My dad is also a Graphic Designer, and I remember him telling me that if you don’t know what font to use then just use Helvetica. I think this can be true, but I also feel like Helvetica is a little bit overused. It makes sense why it is used a lot because it is a very reliable typeface, but I think that unless you are doing something to make it a little more unique then it can get repetitive. I don’t think there is really a wrong way to use Helvetica, but there definitely is a right way to use it.

  18. My favorite quote is “…you find yourself sitting next to some nice person on a plane or a train and they ask you what you do and if you say “type designer” they generally look completely blank, sooner or later someone will generally know the term and say “I thought they were all dead.” I thought it was a funny quote. Helvetica always seemed like a basic typeface. It’s so bold and boring but at the same time I associate it with a lot of brands such as Jeep and Target and lots of other ones. If I were to ever use a typeface it would probably never be Helvetica but I still enjoy seeing it everywhere.

  19. My favorite quote from the movie was “I like looking at type, I get a kick out of it.”

    I picked this quote when I thought it was interesting because type is something the can expand out into so many different forms of emotions and what a person is trying to present. Personally, I think because of all the customizing features a peron can add to a type really makes each piece of work unique.

  20. My favorite quote from the movie was “I mean, everyone puts their history into their work.” I liked this quote because I never really thought about designs like that. Everyone’s experiences and history shape their perspectives and influences their futures and I never really thought about how everyone’s designs were inspired by their pasts.

    After watching the movie I would say that Helvetica could be called an S tier typeface. It is universal and adaptable. It is also iconic and recognizable maybe to a fault. I do feel that Helvetica is basic and that there are many fonts out there that I would rather use, however Helvetica is reliable and it is a good typeface to fall back on. It’s adaptability and readability alone make it an amazing typeface in my personal opinion.

  21. I found the movie to be very interesting, I found the design of the movie to be cool yet interesting. It is universal and accessible to all. Helvetica Could also be called S tier Typeface i found cool that it also goes by another name. I found the typeface quotes to be humorous yet fun, some i managed to write down for future graphic design use. From being a 2007 film it showed a lot of things that caught my eye and made me actually think about typefaces a little bit more considering that fact that i am taking a typography class. Some of the bright colors int he movie caught my eye i often found myself pausing the movie to look at the context the typefaces and the images the movie showed. Overall I found the movie to be interesting and i recommend people to watch it.

  22. The quote I selected was “Helvetica is like the smell of the city. It’s everywhere”. I chose this quote because as we know, the Helvetica typeface is widely used due to its simplicity as well as its efficiency. The legibility of the typeface makes it easy to follow when used as a paragraph font. Although the typeface is diverse, I would still choose other options if I were looking for a title, footer, etc. because it is too plain.

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