Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Typography: Getting attention for a moment

Type is a pet peeve of mine. I love the inherent beauty of good letterforms, and try to use good type, but its so very badly abused these days. Not just Word being used as a page layout program, or the loss of knowledge, or the lack of accurate semantics anymore. No one knows what a font is anymore; it now seems to mean "type," or at best "face." Someday that'll piss me off more, and I'll rant about it with much more specificity.

But someone noticed that Helvetica was designed 50 years ago, and there are a few people talking about it. The best thing seems to be this neat documentary film by Gary Hustwit.

Doesn't seem to be available on DVD yet, so the best way to see this is to visit the infosthetics site and see a few clips from it.

Business week picked up on this, and wrote about it recently from the POV of business, specifically that its a great logo face.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the sleek, streamlined font is used by countless corporations, from 3M and Microsoft to American Airlines and Staples. Its simple lines and proportional letters make it easy to read, whether on a tiny package of Post-it notes or on the side of an airplane. For decades, the typeface has proven an effective element of many a corporate branding and marketing strategy.


Francis said...

Yeah, we missed the local AIGA chapter screening on May 1. We were gonna go, but alas indoor soccer took precedence. It's still touring and has mostly been sold out too. Sigh. The wife just laughed at me when I was dissapointed in missing it.

Steven Hoober said...

Argh. Wait, we /have/ a local AIGA chapter? I miss out on everything.

Do tell me good info about this sort of stuff, even when you cannot make them yourself.