Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fonts, Fonts, I love Fonts

Is is just me, or do you love Fonts too? I mean, when I make signs or handouts (for yard sales, book club meetings, etc.) I spend more time choosing the perfect font than I do writing up the actual text. When I read a book I want the text to fit the story. It can't be too big or too small, too fancy or too plain. I know I'm not alone in this, right? Anyone?! Hmmm, maybe I am a bit weird after all ...

A while back I heard about a documentary film focusing on one font, Helvetica. Now I love fonts, but I couldn't figure out what could be interesting enough about one particular font to justify making a documentary about it. I was intrigued though.

So I looked it up online and found out that it actually does sound quite fascinating. According to the website,
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.
Now THAT sounds interesting! Think about a city that you visited recently ... if you picture it in your mind, you'll see signs/type/fonts/words everywhere. I never really thought about it that way.

Check out this clip and let me know if I'm the only one excited about this ...



How true! The way you first see a message DOES often define the way you react to that message.

Being the entrepreneurial gal that I am (NOT!) I posted a comment on The Baltimore Sun newspaper's blog asking if the film could be shown at The Baltimore Book Festival. Good idea, huh? I think the Book Fest folks were intrigued by the idea, but it didn't quite work out. However, The CityLit Project WAS able to schedule a FREE showing in October.*

The film is scheduled for Sunday, October 19 at 6pm at the Historic Charles Theater in Baltimore. (If you have never been to the Charles, it's worth seeing the film just to check out the theater! The Charles is 108 years old and decorated beautifully.)

Here's the official trailer for Helvetica ...



After the film there will be a discussion with Jed Dietz (Director of the Maryland Film Festival and President of the Producer’s Club of Maryland), Ed Gold (Director, Ampersand Institute for Words and Images and Director, MFA in Integrated Design, University of Baltimore), Gregg Wilhelm (Executive Director, CityLit Project and Publisher, CityLit Press), and moderated by Aaron Henkin (“The Signal,” WYPR).

* For more info about the wonderful programs put on by CityLit, check out their website. They have a whole series of Free Fall Baltimore events, as well as writing workshops and much more.

Would any of my local readers be interested in attending with me? And for those not local, is this something you'd want to see? Am I totally strange to be excited about this film? I'd love to hear your thoughts - am I nuts or are you with me here?!

15 comments:

Nymeth said...

It does sound like a fascinating documentary. If you're strange for being so excited about it, then I am too :P

Dreamybee said...

I, too, can spend hours trying to pick just the right font for a project, but for me it's mainly just a matter of how it looks-does it look good?. I hardly ever pay attention to it in books. I've never understood the subtle differences inherent to different fonts-why would someone choose Times New Roman over Courier or Arial over Helvetica? Sounds like maybe I need to watch the movie! Now I am intrigued!

bermudaonion said...

It's not showing anywhere near me. Too bad. :(

Kristin said...

That sounds fascinating.

momofonefornow said...

You are not alone. I love fonts very, very much. I too will spend an hour searching for the perfect font.

I wonder if marketing majors have to take classes in fonts? Bery intriguing.

Nan said...

Heather, this just came to our little town art cinema, and sadly, I didn't go. I should have.

grayskyeyes said...

You're not nuts, that sounds awesome. I would go if it were playing near me. Make sure you write about what you thought of it after you see it!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

Wishing 4 One said...

I am so into fonts too, who knew they even had a docu on one? I would so love to see it, very cool. Wish i were in Baltimore...let us know how it is.

MoxieMamaKC said...

As a Marketing/Creative Manager, fonts are my candy. I totally understand expressing the art of something thru the right use of fonts...There are days that I have to go on "the hunt" and find a new font that breaks the strict, traditional "branding" that I've created. (I'm my own worst enemy in that regard.). Fonts sometimes talk just as much as words do...thanks for this post.

kelly said...

It's also available on Netflix - it has been on our queue for a while but we haven't gotten around to watching. I'll be waiting to hear how it is, Heather!


P.S. You know about my hatred of Comic Sans, don't you? I have a mug and everything.

Cara said...

Whew- you just opened up yet another chasm of my brain now assigned to shifting my perspective to conceptualize HOW I see the MESSAGES in my life.

What an evolved thinker to make film about it!

(BYW...My name is Cara and I love fonts...he he)

Dawn said...

Ah, a kindred spirit! :) Yes, I've seen the trailer to this film and thought it looked interesting.

Now I will admit that about two years ago on one of those rare "date nights" my husband and I share I was excited to plan an evening of dinner out and seeing the documentary "Word Play" about the Crossword Puzzle Tournament (hosted by Will Shortz) held each February. It had all kinds of info about constructing crosswords for the NYT and different types of solvers. Then there was the footage from the tournament itself ...

Cassandra said...

I love fonts.

You reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Simpsons lines, as Lisa, the yearbook editor, prepares with the other yearbook staff to hand out the yearbook.

"When the kids see those layouts and fonts, you'll be the most popular girl in school!"

Why yes, I was the yearbook editor in high school, why do you ask?

Sarah G said...

(I'm still getting caught up on your last week of posts :) As a former graphic designer, I too love fonts. It surprised me how often I gravitated towards the simpler ones though (including Helvetica.) Too often a font gets in the way of the message - I had one client who insisted on an Old English font, even though it was impossible to read the name of his business!

Alea said...

Great movie! I believe it's out on dvd now too!

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