Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Amsterdam and Wim Crouwel, part of Helvetica.
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I'm a modernist, you know.
I was trained in the period, I lived in the period, I love modernism. I go next week to London to see the exhibition of modernism. I wanted to thoug, and and well, that's my life. I'm in, I'm surrounded with furniture from that period. I, it and I can't change myself anymore, but if I see today, designers, they use all typefaces and through each other, one day, one type for the other day the other typeface, all in favor of a certain atmosphere.
I'm, I'm, I'm nuts. I don't like that. I'm always interested in clarity. It should be clear, it should be readable, it should be straight forward. So I started using gradually grace for my design for my catalog from museums, I invented the grid and within the grid I played my, my game. But always along the lines of the grids so that they have certain orders in it. That's why I use grids, that's why I call me grid neck. For me it's a tool of creating order.
And creating order is typography. I started late with the computer. I think it was 1993 that I bought my first computer. And I learned, myself, and I can handle it now, quite well, but not like the young people. I'm slow with it, and I can do it, but I'm very much interested. And I would have liked to have in the 60s, the computer, because we can speed up our work. We can do it so much better. And especially all the layers you can bring into your work.
We had the greatest problem in the 60's to bring two or three layers into work, you need to do it by photograph. You did it all kinds of crazy techniques, and working on a poster took us days. And now, within a half an hour, you have your ideas. And you can make variations, and make a good choice. You can't do better design with a computer. But you can speed up your work enormously. Shall I begin? >> Sure. >> I made these post stamps on the style movement.
In the beginning, if you see the sketches, I tried to use typefaces from van dusseberg, one of the artists of the style movement. Then, I decided for the final designs not to use this typeface because the illustration is already from the period and I used the most neutral typeface, Helvetica. The Helvetica was a real step from the 19th century typeface. It was a little more machined. It was doing away with these manual details in it.
And we were impressed by this because it's, it was more neutral. More neutral. And neutralism was a word that beloves, you know. It should be neutral. It shouldn't have a meaning in itself. It should, huh. The meaning is in the content of the text. And not in the typeface. And that's why we loved Helvetica very much.
The documentary explores urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and offers a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type. Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day. Interviewees in Helvetica include some of the most illustrious and innovative names in the design world, including Erik Spiekermann, Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel, Hermann Zapf, Neville Brody, Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Bierut, David Carson, Paula Scher, Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones, Experimental Jetset, Michael C. Place, Norm, Alfred Hoffmann, Mike Parker, Bruno Steinert, Otmar Hoefer, Leslie Savan, Rick Poynor, Lars Müller, and many more.
Make sure to watch the bonus features included in the Extras chapter for more insights from these designers.