Confessions of a Graphic Designer

Just thinking about Helvetica makes me want to get down and party!

As I was thumbing through my VEER typeface catalog (yes, there is such a thing), I saw the ad for the documentary, Helvetica.  Not only did you get the newly released DVD, but you also got the one of a kind Helvetica coffee mug featuring “light, regular, black, bold” styles of the font, and the Helvetica “love it or hate it” notebook.  (If you can’t tell already, I’m the graphic designer at the Brooks.)  So, I asked the Public Relations Manager/Public Events Manager if we could screen it at the museum.  With a look like I was the biggest nerd, she tentatively agreed, though I could tell she thought no one would come to such an event.  So, I ordered the “Helvetica package” from VEER and the Marketing plans begun.


The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhibits them.  It also provides a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.

I have since watched it 5 times. (Well, 4 1/2 because one time my 5-year old was talking too loudly in the background for me to hear all of it.)  To be able to watch a documentary about something that means so much in my world is a breath of fresh air.  Now, I know you are thinking, what does Helvetica mean to me and my existence?  Believe it or not, it is all around you.  It is the sign that tells you to STOP and it is the sign on the door that says PUSH.  It is the letters that make up the logo of my favorite store, Target.  It really is everywhere.  One designer interviewed in the film explains it like this, “Helvetica is like air. You can either love it or hate it, it is just there. It will always be there.”

I hope that there are other “type-nerds” like myself out there and that they are coming to the Brooks this Thursday night, April 3.  And, to make the event even cooler, we came up with the idea (actually we saw it on YouTube) of having a Helvetica cake (thanks to our fabulous Chef de Cuisine Andrew Adams) and a birthday party to celebrate the 50(+1) years of Helvetica (b. 1957) with not only party favors, but Hel-a-va-tinis, too!  The party starts at 6:30 and the film is at 7:30.

Come for the party.
Stay for the film.

-Heather Klein, Brooks Graphic Designer


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