Helvetica

I just finished watching a documentary called “Helvetica” on Netflix. It always amazes me when something so seemingly simple turns out to be quite complex. I just don’t have the kind of eye required to care about fonts. When I was in college using the first generation Apple Macintosh computers in the computer lab, I remember using New Century Schoolbook for all my papers. Now I just use whatever default font Bill Gates happens to choose. The movie  reinforced how much the right expert can add to a project. I can’t imagine looking at fonts all day long, but these people really love it; makes the world go round.

This is another aspect of the IT field that I love. IT either encompasses or touches many professions; it is impossible to know them all, and in order to be effective, we rely on collaboration to get the job done. It isn’t important to know all those professions, but it is certainly nice to appreciate them.

Watching an 80 minute movie about a single font is a new experience for me. I am not sure that I’d recommend you watch it, but if you do I’d like to know what you think. Will you be using Helvetical exclusively from now on? Is there another font you prefer? Are you quitting your day job to go design fonts?

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2 Responses to Helvetica

  1. Heather says:

    I haven’t seen the film, but regularly curse the font’s absence on my work machine…

  2. Joan says:

    Come on man, this is the stuff of life! When you do proposals, you get into some serious discussions about fonts. I have seen arguments about whether Arial Narrow is ACTUALLY a font.

    If you talk to prop managers, coordinators, and production staff you can hear lively discussions and about font adventures. You quickly find that you must join a camp, purist or do whatever you can get away with. After all, no one will notice if you use 11 point instead of 12.

    For the good or the bad, RFPs leave little room for choice any more. Those were the days when you could game the font and its size. (We are limited to New Times Roman 12, with Arial 10 in the tables and graphics in most cases now.)

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