When thinking of Helvetica, it is fair to assume that many of your minds will go immediately to printed medium. Posters, fliers and calendars all frequently use the font for their main design, usually to use an attractive typeface that isn’t as overabused as the old standard, Arial.
But there are plenty of places where typography lovers can apply Helvetica. In this case, we are going to look at some of the small movies that have been made featuring the font prominently, sometimes as the main focus.
This film was made as a project to wish the font a happy 50th birthday. What I found most interesting was that the stop-motion format that shows people cutting and taking slices of cake made in the shape of the typeface reminded me a lot of those old scenes from “Sesame Street.” Even the new episodes use the ’90s retro scenes that are nearly identical. That makes me wonder if the maker intended that. If so, they did it well.
Mike Parker is well known for his understanding of typography and general design methods, which is why he is one of the most quoted people in the industry. Evan Shuster used a clip from one of his interviews as a voice-over for this interesting kinetic typography video that shows the words soaring in Helvetica as the font is explained. It is beautifully done and shows that you really can keep it simple and still get great results.
This is a short history lesson for anyone who is interested in the life of Helvetica creator Max Miedinger and the making of this popular typeface. It presents all the facts in fast-moving kinetic typography, which is great, and there is a lot to see. But it moves a little fast, so honestly, it could have benefited from finding a smoother pace to allow the viewer to more easily read without rushing.
While it has nothing to do with Helvetica, this typography video uses that font. The message is a change is needed in design culture as well as priorities that emphasize sustainability. The ideas are connected through a single video made by TEDify.org. It is very interesting to hear different designers from all over the world speaking about the same need for a shift in focus.
The creator of this piece was a student whose assignment was to marry the concept of the video along with the chosen font, in this case, Helvetica. He goes through an informative rundown of the typeface, with a breakdown of the “anatomy.” It is short, but well made.
This is sadly short, and I would have liked to see more, given how good the 10 seconds of the test are. It takes a small audio clip that explains the change in font, which is described as more “machined,” that led to Helvetica. It gives a nice representation of moving cogs along with this idea.
Asked to make an animation opening for a hypothetical film based on a typeface, this university project made a fantastic video clip using motion typography. It reminds me a lot of those ’60s spy or secret agent movies, and it uses the names of the artists involved in the creation and evolution of Helvetica as the cast. This video is very clever, well made and funny.
This is a simple kinetic typography clip that uses voice-overs from the design informational film “Helvetica.” There isn’t anything special here, but the basic concept is solid. They also use some gorgeous effects that really make the overall result, such as the shadows under the lettering as it moves across screen. The quotes used are also excellent.
9. Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is one of the most famous voices of the past, and his songs are still as relevant today as they once were – perhaps more so. Using Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” the creator of this piece used Helvetica to create a simple motion typography video of the lyrics. He manages to get the best parts of the song, which is an added bonus.
A gentle piano solo, drifting Helvetica font with 3-D effects and soothing motions … don’t watch this while working, or you will find yourself falling asleep. It is extremely relaxing and quite pretty, even if it is fairly basic and not a whole lot is shown.
What are some of your favorite Helvetica videos? Let us know in the comments.