"Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere, they give words a certain colouring. Everywhere you look you see typefaces, but the one you will see the most is Helvetica."
The documentary explains that designers have a responsibility, that they are the people putting the wires into our heads. This is because design has to communicate something to the audience, and the designers part is so select how those ideas are put across, and also how effectively - based on their design choices such as typefaces etc.
In the documentary we see Massimo Vignelli in his studio, he says "the life of a designer is a life of fight, the fight against the ugliness". This is the attitude of a truly passionate designer, that bad design troubles them on a regular basis.
Helvetica came about after the second World War when designers felt a need to reconstruct/rebuild, that they has a sense of social responsibility. It emerged in 1957 when there was felt to be a need for rational typefaces which can be applied to all kinds of contemporary information, sign systems / corporate identity and present those visuals in an intelligent, legible way.
Throughout the documentary it is explained that one of the reasons why Helvetica was so popular (particularly in the 60s) was that it was 'just there'. Everybody began to use it as it was applicable to almost anything, it was clean, minimal and legible. Helvetica was a real step from 19th century typefaces - it was more neutral.
© Victoria Malgorzata Grout, all rights reserved