This is a better graphic design movie that I've seen lately. Actually, it's the only graphic design movie that I've ever seen, I think. The movie talks about Helvetica and it's origins. How it started with the Modernist movement and the legacy it leaves behind. But more than that, it shows many different high-profile designers and their reactions to the font. It's a little bit of navel gazing because of the subject matter. Since I'm a type "nerd", this film really appeals to the design side of my brain and I love a good story.

It talks about the creation of Helvetica and it's implications upon the western world (possibly globally) of design. The ubiquitious typeface has turned 50 this year.

This is a little summary of Gary Huswit's film:

From its modest beginnings on the drafting board of a little-known Swiss designer in 1957, Helvetica has since grown to become the most commonly used font in the contemporary cultural landscape. It is the official font for thousands of corporate logos, used for signage in transportation systems around the globe, and is the default typeface for Apple Macintosh’s OS.

Through insightful interviews with design moguls like David Carson, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Erik Spiekermann, Experimental Jetset, and many others, filmmaker Gary Hustwit uses the proliferation of a single font to guide the viewer through an intelligent conversation about the evolution of design over the last half century and how graphic design is impacting us in our everyday lives. Filmed in the United States, England, the Netherlands,
Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, Helvetica takes the viewer on a tour of our urban spaces to illustrate how design is impacting the visual culture.

And since we are speaking about ubiquity, Microsoft made it's own version of the font called, Arial. Can you spot the difference?
Peter YueDesign1 Comment