The Font Is A Star

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Who doesn’t know the legendary Helvetica? Almost everything we see is Helvetica. It’s one of the default and most used fonts in our system. The Swiss font even has its own documentary. Bet you’re asking yourself, “Why would I wanna watch a documentary about a font?” You’ve got to be a designer or someone creative to understand this. It’s Helvetica yo! It’s our homie.


This font that celebrated its 50 years in 2007 was made into a feature-length indie film and directed by Gary Hustwit. The film is about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. Helvetica represents what design, advertising, psychology and communication is all about in our every day life.

The documentary features interviews with design greats including Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel, Hermann Zapf, Neville Brody, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Bierut, David Carson, Paula Scher, Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones, Experimental Jetset, Michael C. Place, Norm, Alfred Hoffmann, Mike Parker, Bruno Steinert, Otmar Hoefer, Leslie Savan, Rick Poynor, and Lars Müller.

Helvetica had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2007 and it’s making its way to our very own Palate Palette on 24 March at 7.30pm in conjunction with KL Design Week 2009. The documentary has been shown over 200 film festivals, museums, design conferences and cinemas worldwide; and you get to see it free here in KL. What else do you want?

Oh, how we love design.

Listen to Gary Hustwit talk about shooting Helvetica.

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