The Helvetica Hegemony

A quick update on matters Helvetica.

First, Gary Hustwit’s “Helvetica” documentary is real, or at least about ten minutes of it are, anyway. That’s how much I saw in a private screening of a handful of clips that was held last night at Pentagram here in New York. Hustwit invited about fifty or so of us to a “reception celebrating the release of three limited-edition letterpress prints” commemorating the film (beautiful work from Experimental Jetset in Amsterdam, Build in London and Norm in Zürich), but the real star of the show was the sneak peeks.

It’s very hard to judge an entire movie on the basis of a handful of snippets, but let me just say that I’m really excited for its release after this little taste. To see graphic design writ large on the silver screen (well, it was projected on a big wall last night, but that’s close enough) was really invigorating, and the interviews he showed, especially with Michael Bierut and Wim Crouwel, were riotous. Fingers crossed, the final product is going to be a film we’ll all treasure for a long time.

In other news, a resounding “Yes!” to those of you who have emailed in to ask — I will indeed be doing another run of my Hel-Fucking-Vetica tee shirts soon. I have a lot of traveling to do in the next few months, but I’ll try and squeeze in the time to actually put another order through. This round, the shirts will be run in a different color entirely, so as to preserve the ‘limited edition-ality’ of the first batch, perhaps in a shade of black or gray for increased bad ass-ness. And, in all likelihood, I’ll be running that second batch alongside a first edition run of my Fear of a Cooper Black Planet tee shirt, too. Stay tuned, type fans.

Finally, take note of “Helvetica Memory,” an alphabet designed by Mike Essl for Rick Valicenti’s Playground. It’s a fun reinterpretation of the typeface, as filtered through the lens of Helvetica’s contemporary ubiquity. And it’s also a good lead-in to something else Essl-related, for which you’ll need to come back to this blog next week. How about that? A weekend cliff-hanger!

  1. Can I get a “hell yeah” for the grey/black hel-fucking-vetica. Not that I really have anything against the baby blue and pink. Oh, who am I kidding…anyway, I’d love to see some “bad ass-ness” there.

    And, Helvetica (the documentary) is something I’m really looking forward to seeing.

  2. I’m looking forward to see that film. Been following the updates daily on Gary’s blog.

    To the hel-fucking-vetica, a “Hel’ yeah” definitely! Was waiting on this. Although I loved the blue and pink, I’m sure this new bad ass one will be as good.

    Now, I’ll just sit, wait and wish they ship outside US, namely Portugal. The same applies for the film.


  3. Black, please! not grey! I love the shirt so much, I wear it in baby blue, but with a black shirt, I can wear it with everything (thus all the time).

  4. I will add a vote for black and also for xxl fat guy size. And yes, even though I hate Helvetica, I would wear a Subtraction shirt with pride.

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