Episode Information

INDEPENDENT LENS: Helvetica
INDEPENDENT LENS SEASON 9
Aired:
11/03/2009
Share this Content

In this episode:

How the World’s Most Ubiquitous Typeface Changed Global Visual Culture

 


Danny van den Dungen of the Experimental Jetset design collective in Amsterdam

INDEPENDENT LENS

Helvetica

Airs Tuesday, 11/3 at 11 p.m. on CPTV

The typeface Helvetica is ubiquitous, spelling out everything from IRS tax forms to the corporate logos of Target, Crate & Barrel and Fendi. In “Helvetica,” first-time director Gary Hustwit explores urban spaces and the typefaces that inhabit them, and speaks with historians and designers about the choices and aesthetics behind the use of fonts.

Born in 1957 of Swiss origin, Helvetica was a typeface for the modern age. Sleek, streamlined and simple, it became the font that launched a thousand corporate logos — from Minneapolis to Melbourne to Munich. As neutral as the country of its birth, Helvetica was capable of being invested with the aspirations of millions of consumer products, a typeface whose meaning was created in the eye of the beholder. “Helvetica,” is part of the seventh season of the Emmy ® Award-winning PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS. Terrence Howard hosts.

VISIT THE WEBSITE AT PBS.ORG

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Bookmark and Share


 
Related Content: