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Return of Type

Alex Christie

22 April 2008

Helvetica
To continue on the theme of text and typography… Last week I visited the University of Portsmouth (where I completed
my Design degree many years ago!), the South
Coast Design Forum
(SCDF) where presenting a seminar titled ‘Return to
Type’ which included the first public screening on the south coast of the film
Helvetica’ followed by a
presentation the renowned type-designer Bruno Maag, MD of Dalton Maag.

‘Helvetica’ is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and
global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which
celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about
the way type affects our lives. As
someone who has worked with type within graphic design for over 10 years, I
didn’t realise the enormity of the typeface and impact it has had over the
years, not just on design but on everyday things. This is a ‘must watch’ for anyone with even a
vague interest in type, design and branding.

In contrasted to the film that celebrated Helvetica, Bruno gave us his own view on
the font, making it clear he is not a fan. It is amazing that a typeface can create such passion, positive and negative. With Bruno’s extensive
experience he introduced us to the basics of creating a typeface – from how to
ensure a ‘beautiful’ curve on an ‘a’ to determining the depth of the serif
depending on the font point size.

In all a
very insightful event, thanks for the invite from my friends at Sifer Design, it has really sparked a
new found interest in typography.

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