I am the last person who expected to find a documentary about a typeface to be riveting. Yet for two years, Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica has stuck with me, a brilliant examination of how typefaces worm their way into the very nature of how we perceive the world.
One result of great documentary is to reveal the significance of something that, in its very pervasiveness, was completely missed and taken for granted. Antonio Gramsci pointed out as well as anyone how much implicit ideology we miss when we take reality for granted, when we avoid looking closely at assumptions and words and symbols — and, yes, typefaces — that seem self-evident.
This is the accomplishment of Helvetica. A must for students of media, culture, design, digital culture.