Type as dogma

THIS PAST WEEKEND, the annual Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) conference in Brighton screened the movie Helvetica. This is a fine documentary, directed by Gary Hustwit. It’s been shown at a few other conferences this year, and is now enjoying a small art house run. As one of those who hasn’t used Helvetica since 1970, I was prepared not to like it. But Helvetica, the movie, won me over — mostly by intercutting many striking shots of the typeface in use all over the world, for every possible purpose, and in every situation, from monumental corporate identity to graffiti-covered municipal notices.

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