NWC News Desk

Documentary about typography to be shown Wednesday, April 23

Posted April 17, 2008

P O W E L L, W y o. - "Helvetica," a feature-length independent film by Gary Hustwit, will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Room 65 of the Fagerberg Building at Northwest College.

The topics of the documentary include typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of the Helvetica typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. It explores urban spaces in major cities and the typefaces that inhabit them.

"Helvetica" encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites viewers to take a second look at the thousands of words seen every day. It was shot on location in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, and features discussions with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.

Helvetica, the typeface, was developed by Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann in 1957 for the Haas Type Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland. Fueled by advertising agencies selling this new design style to their clients, Helvetica quickly appeared in corporate logos, signage for transportation systems, fine art prints, and myriad other uses worldwide. Inclusion of the font in home computer systems such as the Apple Macintosh in 1984 further cemented its ubiquity.

The showing of "Helvetica" is sponsored by the NWC Graphics Program. Admission is free.