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Year: 2007 Director: Gary Hustwit

I think this film is both informational and promotional -- on one hand, it is informative, in that you learn about the history of Helvetica, its uses, and peoples opinions on the type; however, on the other hand, it is also promotional as it discusses tries to highlight the brilliance and beauty behind the type. It talks about how Helvetica is extremely versatile, with many different personalities -you can say I love you in regular, light, or bold, and convey three different meanings. However, some type artists feel that Helvetica is outdated, overused, and ubiquitous. This film is aimed at graphic designers, as the people interviewed and featured in the film are leading graphic/type designers. Other people may not find the film to be as interesting. Some of the interviewees go into deep discussions about font design that people who have no background in graphic design would not be able to understand. Some of the statements made by the interviewees also made mention of the differences between graphic designers and people who dont notice typeface, for example, one person talks about how his sister remembers a place as the laundromat, and he remembers it as the place with the ugly letters on its sign. As such, I dont think this documentary is necessarily intended to be viewed by everyone, especially because some people couldnt care less about typefaces. Typeface is relevant to every project we do that involves text -- good typeface selection is not only important in producing a visually-pleasing product, but it is also important because different typefaces convey different ideas. Choosing a typeface is like casting an actor in a movie. Typeface is important, whether were creating a business card, making a sign/banner, writing a letter, or turning in an essay. Helvetica is a huge part of our lives because the typeface is used everywhere -- many companies feel that the typeface makes them seem professional, accessible and accountable, due to its smoothness and other aesthetically-pleasing features. Some type artists say that it invites open interpretation, because it doesnt have one meaning attached to it. Others say that its used too often to be able to convey any sort of unique message -- rather, its just a safe typeface to use because its a typical and acceptable way of saying that youre modern. They say that its too routine, and theres a need for change. I would use Helvetica in my projects, depending on the audience. If my audience does not contain graphic designers, then they probably would not notice what font it is, only that it looks clean, smooth, professional.