The Helvetica font can be seen on a variety of different store fronts and even fire escape signs
In a world where design and layout for newspapers and businesses is key, many consumers hardly ever notice exactly what font is being used on the products they are being sold.
Helvetica, a font that has been around since the 1950’s and originated in Switzerland, is now one of the most used fonts for a variety of brands. Street signs, department stores and coffee shops all use the brand to their advantage to attract their customers to the store. Not only do more big name brands like Target, Toyota, MetLife and more, all use the elusive font to display their brand, but railroad companies and cities are becoming frequent users of the type-font.
The film discusses typography, graphic design and global visual culture all which play into the role as a lay out editor at any newspaper or company looking to market their product. So why do most brands choose Helvetica?
Director of the film, Gary Hustwit, asked himself the same question. He traveled the world and found Helvetica being used in stores, on street signs and even in subways and other transportation services. He wanted to learn why Helvetica had become so popular and why all big name and little name brands were suddenly so interested in the font.
His documentary talks to several interviewees about the type font including including Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli and Wim Crouwel, all of whom are some of the most innovative designers in the world.
In their book, Creative Editing, Dorothy A. Bowles and Diane L. Borden discuss why design has become so important in our everyday lives.
They say that “the main purpose of publication design is to communicate, to help move readers easily and efficiently through the page.”
They also break down the basic principles of design and layout which include balance, contrast, proportion and unity, all of which apply to both print and web media.
The most important thing to take away from both the film and chapter in Creative Editing is that design is all around us and learning the different design techniques and layout styles will only help us in the long run.
Please skip ahead to the trailer titled Helvetica IFC trailer.