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Helvetica
Cinema Arts Centre
Huntington, NY
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Helvetica
Guest Speaker: Giona Maiarelli, graphic designer

Gary Hustwit makes his directorial debut with an artfully crafted documentary about the worlds most ubiquitous typeface - Helvetica. Dont worry if you dont recognize the name; if youve been instructed to push or pull open a door recently, taken a ride on the NY subway, or read a corporate logo, chances are it was printed in Helvetica. Part of the success of the film is in the passion with which the design cognoscenti preach the gospel of Helvetica or offer up jeremiads of damnation for its inherent design blandness. Massimo Vignelli, the high priest of 1960s modernist design, asserts that Helvetica is one of the few typefaces that he uses. Why mess with perfection, he muses. David Carson, the creative inspiration behind Raygun magazine, the locus of the late 80s-90s D.I.Y grunge aesthetic in Typography, rails against the emotionless and sanitized quality of the same type. Soon, Helvetica is connected to being representative of 1960s corporate support of the Vietnam War and labeled fascistic with a nod and a wink. But Helvetica is not only about the culture and history of a typeface but addresses the professional responsibilities of designers to the culture at large. Hustwit demonstrates how the use of type can pacify or inflame the populace. Ultimately, this witty and surprisingly humorous look at an iconic typeface illuminates the use of corporate branding and control in our hyper-designed and bloated visual culture. Gene Berezin

USA, 2007, 80 min., color  Director: Gary Hustwit  Featuring: Massimo Vignelli, David Carson, Tobias Frere-Jones, Jonathan Hoefler, Michael Bierut, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, Eric Spiekermann, Hermann Zapf, Leslie Savan, Danny van den Dungen

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Location

Cinema Arts Centre
423 Park Ave
Huntington, NY 11731
United States


Categories

Film

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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