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“Helvetica” by Gary Hustwit Essay

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Updated: Mar 15th, 2020

The movie “Helvetica” shows several designers and the work that they have been doing with fonts and designs of graphics. Wim Crouwel is a designer who started his work in the ’60s, and he has a rather interesting point of view towards art.

I chose this particular designer because of his forward nature and ability to express himself clearly. He is very straightforward when he talks about what he likes and other styles that he does not like.

The fact that he prefers modernism says a lot about his character and his ability to see the true value of things. He says that he has done designs for museums and it seems obvious because he chose a font that is very clear, concise and readable.

An idea for grids is very interesting because it enables the precise positioning of letters and this greatly adds to the design. He is very right when he says that it is a pity that computers have been developed later than his design work began.

For a person who is centered on clarity in designing, a computer and faster working conditions could create a lot of opportunities. A very interesting and truthful point that he brings forward is that “you cannot do better design with a computer, but you can speed up your work” (Helvetica).

This shows that he is very knowledgeable about his work because it is not computers that create art—it is people and their ideas.

When Wim Crouwel talks about his design and font, it is easy to see that he is passionate and he loves what he is doing. He describes the font as being “neutral,” and this is an important fact because “the meaning is in the content of the text and not in the typeface” (Helvetica).

I agree that different fonts create too much chaotic overlap of styles and this takes away from the meaning. In this case, a person is already predisposed with the visual stylistic of the graphic, picture or message, which leads to wrongful, as people are very much concerned with appearances.

If something looks “neutral” more attention is paid to what is being said, and this creates a whole different picture.

One of the works that Wim Crouwel has done is post stamps, and I find this a significant piece because they require a lot of detail. The font that he originally chose, as he admits, did not suit the stamps well. The result with a clear and legible font is much better and adds to the overall picture.

The illustration on the stamp is very well thought out because it represents a period very specifically. It is also original and grabs the attention of the viewer.

Even though stamps are rarely looked at by the general public or the post workers, a lot of work and ideas go into designing one, and it is interesting to see how the whole stamp comes together.

There are many people who collect stamps, and they do it for a reason, as they are representations of society and people. Because it is so small, it is important to consider what is being placed on the stamp and it represents the artist’s views and preferences.

Wim Crouwel’s stamps and grid letter design speaks about his clear vision and direct approach which is a beneficial quality to have (Helvetica).

Works Cited

Helvetica. Ex. Prod. Gary Hustwit. Mount Pleasant, London: Swiss Dots. 2007. Film.

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1. IvyPanda. ""Helvetica" by Gary Hustwit." March 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/helvetica-by-gary-hustwit/.


IvyPanda. ""Helvetica" by Gary Hustwit." March 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/helvetica-by-gary-hustwit/.


IvyPanda. 2020. ""Helvetica" by Gary Hustwit." March 15, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/helvetica-by-gary-hustwit/.


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