The Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit

Screening of the Helvetica flick down in Cincinnati tonight—made all the more special with an introduction by DAAP grad Michael Bierut (wiki, Design Observer, a snapshot from the night).

The movie? Most excellent. Just the right amount of history, real world examples, well chosen music, and a slew of design luminaries that describe their experiences with the ubiquitous font—pro and con.

Got me to thinking about my relationship with type. I’ve no real allegiance, though I’ve a fond spot in my heart for Univers. I fall in that category where I don’t like to fret too much about fonts—there are always other things to worry about (like content for instance.) Then the web throws in that wrench of what’s installed on machines.

A dozen fonts you’d always found installed on my computer? (in no order)

Univers, Thesis (serif and sans), Trade Gothic (Naz inspired this addition), Helvetica (the whole family), Lubalin Graph (or some such slab serif), Futura, Interstate, Avenir, Bookman (complete, love the swash, seldom use it), Silkscreen, and sometimes but not-so-much – VAG rounded.

Man, I’m boring. I need to branch out.

Current music: Say Hi To Your Mom “Poor Pete Is A Bit Self Conscious”

Categorized as Design


  1. So, is “The Serif” the actual name of that font? And if so, where might one find it?
    Muchas gracias!

  2. i enjoyed the movie, too (as well as the font). the fast-talking german guy cracked me up. when the film came to chicago, gary hustwit did the intro and held a q&a afterwards, which i unfortunately didn’t get to stick around for because i was on a second date with a boy who thought the movie was boring… but that’s another story (well, let’s just say there wasn’t a third date).

  3. I love Univers too. When I see a text composed in Univers, specially in sizes over 14, it’s like the smell of cake in the oven, or something like that. Maybe I’ve read many books composed in Univers when I was a child. But, for sure, I was already a type geek.
    My faves installed in the computer: Clarendon, Akzidenz Grotesk, Meta, Mrs. Eaves, TheSans, Sabon and, of course, Univers.

  4. Good choices. I don’t do freelance work, so I don’t have a good excuse to drop $$$ on fonts — but if I did, I would buy TheSans for sure. I came *this* close to buying Apex New recently, even though I have no need for it. At work I’m stuck using all Helvetica, all the time. I liked the movie, though.

Comments are closed.