Sunday, February 03, 2008


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The time has come for a documentary of a font.

Although it is completely understandable given that there are weirder documentaries being made by the minute, this is still a perfect masturbatory tool for the design community. It does not strike any interest from the copywriters at work, or say, my parents. Or anyone else that I tried to share the excitement with.
In fact, according to the director's blog, the film had been leaked on google video for 3 days and after a gazillion brazilian views later, 2 people contacted him expressing interest to support the film. 2 people.

The fact that no one cares about the font successfully conveys the message of the film: Helvetica is everywhere, like air.
A normal person will not stop and ponder what and how air is created, unless forced to in chemistry 101.
Designers are like the small group of elite scientist admiring the bond of the molecules. Do they contribute to society? Yes.
Will it get a conscious social acceptance? Maybe a little.

I enjoyed the movie. I love it. I am not trying to deny the popularity of graphic design. Perhaps having a fim about a font already indicates the widespread its ego. Yet when people around me would rather spend time watching America's Top Model than Helvetica, I can't help but to be skeptical.

Maybe it is just typography that is dying. Maybe people think that is not a part of graphic design. Design should be colourful. It should be moving on the screen with special effects. It should be a man with horns with tattoos all over. It should be different photos all chopped up. It should be you in front of a pink silky background looking like a birthday cake from that make up and retouching.

Again, like air, if it gets the job done and prolong our lives, why not?