Viewing 1: Helvetica


What did you learn from watching the documentary Helvetica?  How will you notice typography differently after watching this? What have you noticed is written in Helvetica that you have seen numerous times?  Support your answer through photos in your blog post.

There is a lot more thought put into creating a font than one would predict.  Everything from the thickness of each letter, the spacing of lines in the letters, spaces between letters, including or leaving out serifs and other such factors are considered and changed depending on how the font needs to be presented.  Whether the presenter wants to be professional or playful will depend on what font is used.  Like other typography and forms of art, different fonts provide different feelings to the viewer and artist alike.

I was surprised at how many major-name companies use the Helvetica font, including but not limited to Microsoft, Target, Sears, CVS and way more.  It is one of the most simple yet relied on fonts, apparently, and that is fascinating.  We kind of take it for granted when we see the written or printed word on a book cover, on a billboard or other means of advertising, on a food label, and we don’t generally take into consideration that even though this appears to be a default font, someone was behind the thought of each letter and word created with this type of typography.  At one time, hand-drawing/writing each letter, and eventually computer or machine-processing the font.

Creating and maintaining a font is for sure, a unique art form.

“any questions? No, [the ad is saying] just Drink Coke.” <– The example in the film in which Helvetica was used in advertising to give a “clean and efficient” message to the readers of the magazine.  The use of Helvetica presented a clean, professional, contained message.

Below is a link to the film, a link to an article about the font Helvetica, and some of many sample logos in my daily life that will forever remind me of this concept, as each of them are in Helvetica.  Where have you seen Helvetica in your life?


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