Reaction to the Helvetica Movie


A couple of classes ago, we watched the Helvetica movie. Helvetica was created in 1957 by Swiss typographer Max Miedinger. Helvetica is a clear, rational typeface. It seems like designers either love, or strongly dislike using the Helvetica typeface. This video showed us designers with a lot of different backgrounds, styles, and opinions.


Matthew Carter.

Matthew Carter is a modernist who shared in the video. Matthew Carter created Georgia and Verdona, among other typefaces. His father is Harry Carter, who was a typographer himself. Carter was educated in creating type by hand, before digital type.

Matthew Carter released the Georgia typeface in 1996.
Paula Scher.

Paula Scher is a post-modernist who shared in the video. Paula Scher is very much against Helvetica. She describes Helvetica as used for persuasive corporate culture. Scher is one of the designers who wanted to move away from the so common use of Helvetica. She says this about overused typefaces:

“The more you see it, the more you can appreciate when it’s terrific.”

This is very true. Although Helvetica may be used often, and may seem generic, the fact that it’s seen in so any places does give the viewer the ability to see where it’s used beautifully, and where it’s used carelessly. Below are some examples of Paula Scher’s work:

Posters for the Public Theater by Paula Scher.

I personally like Helvetica. It’s not my go-to font, but I like the simplicity of it, and its smooth, non-decorative look. It’s very modern and it works great for logos or advertising because it’s easy to read.


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