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#Docuhistory: Helvetica


May 06 2020


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Watch Party & Twitter Conversation


Watch Party & Director Talkback: Helvetica

A #Docuhistory Event with Gary Hustwit

Produced and directed by Gary Hustwit, Helvetica is a feature-length documentary that confronts the complex development of typeface and graphic design. Interviewing the masters of graphics and type, Helvetica opens a conversation among designers about the necessary symbols of order and creativity.

We invite teachers, parents, and students to use this page to explore the related resources below as part of their curriculum or home-schooling.

The #docuhistory series aims to create an informal space where teachers, students, and historians can join together to watch a documentary and discuss teaching and learning about the film's subject matter. The series is organized by Joe Schmidt, New York City Department of Education, @HSGlobalHistory, in collaboration with the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

We joined the virtual watch party hosted by NYC's Poster House on May 6, 2020, with Gary (@gary_hustwit). You can browse the discussion on Twitter by searching the #HelveticaLive and #Docuhistory hashtags, and by checking in with moderator Eladio Bobadilla (@e_b_bobadilla).


Resource List

Helvetica Discussion Guide

By Gary Hustwit

You can’t escape if you try — it’s on your computer, the subway, U.S. mailboxes, IRS tax forms, and spells out countless corporate logos from Target to Fendi. No doubt, Helvetica is the king of fonts. But why?

View the PDF

Everything You Wanted to Know About Helvetica

By Grace Fussell

A bona fide celebrity of the type world, the divisive Helvetica typeface has been set on world domination since the 1950s.

Read the Article

5 Exciting Ways to Teach Typography in the Art Room

By Abby Schukei

Have you ever let your students go rogue in the font panel? If so, chances are you’ve been bombarded with some of the most hated fonts of all time. Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Curlz anyone?

Read the Article

Helvetica — Official Site

Helvetica is a feature-length documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

Visit the Site

Everything You Need To Know About The Helvetica Font Family

Visual Hierarchy

Helvetica is definitively (as font geeks with a repulsive turn of phrases like to say) one of the most popular fonts of our time.

Read the Article


Eladio Bobadilla

University of Kentucky

Eladio Bobadilla is an assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky. He earned his Ph.D. from Duke University. He specializes in the history of social movements. He tweets @e_b_bobadilla. Bio May 2020...

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