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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Love of Letters

I may be the only person you know singing the praises of a documentary about typeface, unless, that is, you are friends with a graphic designer. I am not trained in graphic design and don't have much of an eye for art, but I love words and perhaps that is why I loved "Helvetica." 

Unless you have a trained eye, chances are good that you never noticed the ubiquitousness of the Helvetica typeface. It is, in fact, everywhere around you. Signage, advertising, corporate logos, and food packaging are more often than not written in Helvetica.

But where does a typeface come from? The Helvetica documentary tells the tale of Helvetica specifically and typeface in general since the 1950s. It is a history of modernism and post-modernism in graphic design and follows Helvetica from its creation in the 1950s right up to the present day. 

Typeface is the sort of thing that our son Lane notices. I intend to show him clips from "Helvetica" so that he can see how letters are designed and why something like Helvetica is so perfect that designers keep coming back to it. 

"Helvetica" is currently available on Netflix as a streaming movie. If you watch with kids beware some inappropriate photographs shown near the end of the film in the period of post-modern 1990s graphic design. 

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