All of us here at Free/Man are pretty big fans of typography, so this documentary from renowned filmmaker Gary Hustwit is one we've enjoyed very much. Focusing mostly on just the font Helvetica, the film celebrates typography, graphic design and global visual culture while profiling the proliferation of the Helvitica font. The film has been shown at over 200 film festivals, design conferences and museums world-wide, and is worth adding to your collection if you're a bit of a typograhy lover like we are, or are just simply interested in good graphic design and lasting cultural elements.
Helvetica was developed by Max Miedinger with Edüard Hoffmann in 1957 for the Haas Type Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland. In the late 1950s, the European design world saw a revival of older sans-serif typefaces such as the German face Akzidenz Grotesk. Haas' director Hoffmann commissioned Miedinger, a former employee and freelance designer, to draw an updated sans-serif typeface to add to their line. The result was called Neue Haas Grotesk, but its name was later changed to Helvetica, derived from Helvetia, the Latin name for Switzerland, when Haas' German parent companies Stempel and Linotype began marketing the font internationally in 1961.