Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a nerdy new year

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.


Clarence Wethern said...

As someone else who heartily enjoyed Helvetica, might I recommend Who Killed the Electric Car? and This Film is Not Yet Rated.

I do realize that you've probably already seen them both.

Fred said...

I have seen the latter, and found it also very interesting. I'm similarly intrigued to see Fuck, about the word.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of a would-be graphic designer, I have heard of the movie but not seen it. Must correct that; I wouldn't want my nerdiness to slip.

May the new year bring you much success on that venue that cannot be named.

LRM said...

We'll be staying home and watching as many Battlestar Gallactica episodes as we can before falling asleep. Nerdvana.

Happy New Year, Fred. Let me know if you have any free time that you'd like to spend with or without small children while you're in town at the end of the month. We'll feed you up good!

Emily Resseger said...

Some time you'll have to come by my house. I have the 3 foot tall Helvetica poster taking up most of the wall in my kitchen. One of my favorite movies.