Happy New Year, peoples. As has been my trend in recent years, I will ring in the coming of 2009 at the Brave New Workshop. My lovely wife works front-of-house there, but is typically off-duty by midnight, so I've usually shown up just in time for the festivities, but had a mess of unstructured time to fill beforehand.
Last year I filled this time by watching Helvetica, a documentary about the typeface Helvetica.
Let me repeat: on New Year's Eve, 2007, I happily elected to watch, on my computer, an 80-minute movie about a font.
I had actually wanted to see the movie for some time. It came to the Walker Art Center a few years back, but I missed it and didn't really want to pay to see it. Then it became available on Netflix, crucially as a "Watch It Now!" title. That meant I could watch it without the outlay of additional monies, and without having to anticipate when I would want to watch a font flick. Which is apparently on the biggest party night of the year.
The movie was great. In addition to showcasing the development of the font and how many major public uses it has had over the years (answer: lots and lots, including Target, 3M, AT&T, NASA, Microsoft, airports, the NYC Subway...), it used the font as a through-line to follow the history of graphic design and typesetting in the past century or so. Being who I am, I ate this up like candy.
Tonight I don't know what exactly I'll be up to until 11, but I can guarantee you, it will be nerdy.