Helvetica (2007)

“Helvetica” (2007)



As a future architect, i felt close to many of what’s depicted here. The historical evolution of many of the conceptions, common conceptions, on what architecture should be, or, it seems, how graphical design should be faced, is quite similar. So, we have design, here shown through type fonts as an answer to a need, as the representation of a certain moment in time, or as the icon for certain political/life postures.

The title font is a creation of modernism, which means it works, it aims at being universal, and it’s durable, visually speaking. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be the target of criticism. The thing for me is, the human nature doesn’t allow human beings to rest the same. That’s because the human mind is creative. At the same time, men like formulas. Men like to be told what’s right, they like to rely. And in fact, except for a very reduced number of artists who have/had the genius to produce work generated in some outer reality, something Plato would talk about, the vast majority of mortals need references, need formulas (even if they fight them), need restrictions, as someone said in the documentary. So, to Helvetica i could add many formula items, the modernist ‘boxes’ of Bauhaus, the transparent spaces of Mies, these were all creations springing from creative minds, and fully adopted massively, either with fantastic results, or gradually loosing interest, context, and quality. In the end, i think everybody is, to a certain degree, conservative and radical, conformist and revolutionary, Helvetica or Script, Gropius or Gaudi. It is in the oscillation between these extremes that human creativity works, and in the conflicts which exist within that evolution. So who are you? What chances are you willing to take? how new are you willing to be. If you were(are) American, who would you vote? Obama or Clinton? The idea behind what’s depicted in this film, is that the choices you make define who you are. But there’s a catch. We’re talking about the choices you make over the creations of others. People claim Helvetica to be part of themselves as it is part of American Airlines. And a window is opened in the end of this.

The fact that today, the technological democracy allows you to have much larger power of communication and personalization of your “identity cards”. I personally don’t think that technology stimulates creativity, it increases your options, yes, but that just gives you a larger catalogs of “fonts”. Your power to innovate is the same, with or without computers. And i even think the fantastic timings you get while working with computers may kill your creative process, because you may rush yourself into things you’ll feel are not the right options, only when it’s to late to change them. But it’s fantastic that people are allowed to produce a feature film out of a cell phone, or get to know all things done in a certain area with very little money. It’ll take a few years for us to understand what important work can be created with all the possibilities we have today. I’m skeptical, but i also tender the possibilities, and think about what i can do with them. And it really is exciting to be alive and able to participate in the process. Writing in Helvetica or by hand…

My opinion: 4/5 watch this.

This comment on IMDb


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