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on November 4, 2016
An intelligent documentary taking something that we take for granted, a typeface, and showing its cultural significance. It also provides interesting commentary on modern and postmodern design conventions and how they have changed over the past few decades. This documentary shows Helvetica from multiple view points. To some, it's the peak of perfection in typefaces. To others, it's boring and sterile. Yet others find that despite its association with corporations and standardization, it can be co-opted to new uses.

Helvetica shows us that we should take nothing we see from day to day for granted. Even the words that may cross our field of vision for only a few seconds.
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on December 5, 2016
Really interesting awareness of a world of "fonts" I've never given thought to. I enjoyed the editing of the movie, the shots alone opened my eyes to something that usually lacks any distinction for me - lettering. Great capturing of the passionate feelings for/against one single type of lettering - Helvetica. I'll never look at signage and fonts quite the same. If you are the slightest bit interested in design and form of any type (doesn't have to be lettering), you will appreciate this discussion of why - or why not - Helvetica might be "the perfect design." The interviews are wonderfully varied, all with people passionate about their point of view about ... a "font."
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on February 11, 2014
If you have an interest in how the seemingly small things demonstrate, and even dictate, the direction of popular culture, then Helvetica will be compelling viewing. Great for both the typographer/designer and for those with hungry minds. Through a series of interviews, the documentary tells the story of what is, arguably, the world's most influential typeface. It is stunning to see how ubiquitous Helvetica is within Western culture.
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on February 1, 2014
The scope of this movie goes way beyond one single typeface—the cast of featured designers and historians is as rich and talented as any movie cast, the direction is straightforward but sensitive, and the amount of relevant information is much larger than you would expect. Along with documenting the 'biography' of the world's most ubiquitous sans serif typeface, the movie also captures the important era from which Helvetica emerged, through the eyes of the influential designers who shaped the design movements leading up to its creation. Whether you geek out over type design, or you want to understand more about the Swiss Modern movement; whether you're interested in behind-the-scenes typography giants, like Matthew Carter, or today's edgy, avant garde designers like Stefan Sagmeister, do yourself a favor: check out Helvetica.
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on September 12, 2014
I bit dated now. Mentions of Myspace's customize-ability (?) being its wonderful, most powerful feature sound a little funny now. It got people bogged down in amateur webdesign instead of communicating. Facebook did the opposite. It locked down design and forced people to focus on connecting sharing and communicating.

My other complain is how some of the musical/visual montages seem to drag on a little too long.

But after viewing this movie I definitely have more appreciation for fonts. I am looking at words and letter and design differently than I had been before. So the movie was well worth the time and I came away with some valuable inside and knowledge.

Recommended.
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on October 15, 2015
A very interesting look at the font. I teach a class that gives communication and journalism students a crash course in basic design concepts and show this film to drive home the point that visuals matter as much as words. It's engaging, solid documentary film making that interviews some f the big names in design. It puts Helvetica in the context of the major design movements of the 60s to present.

The only downside is that it could probably have cut 15-20 min without losing anything.
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on June 6, 2017
This is an awesome documentary for all you Font Fanatics. I found it very educational and entertaining. I could watch it again. Too bad there aren't more like this. I'd watch one that discussed other fonts or showed new fonts or anything font related.
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on March 17, 2017
Enjoyed watching this documentary
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on November 9, 2007
The historical significance of the typeface as well as the on-going evolution of typography make this a must see for anyone interested in typography and graphic design, but also a fine entertainment for film enthusiasts. Compelling interviews with notable professionals are informative, witty and often hilarious. Visuals run the gamut from elegance to true grit. Kudos to Gary Hustwit and his crew for this living history before it is not longer possible.
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on April 29, 2017
Interesting history on fonts
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