December 22, 2007

How Helvetica changed my life.

Back in September I saw a movie that changed my life and today I began to really think about it. No, it was not “Chariots of Fire”, “Dangerous Minds” or even “Lean on Me”. It was something more personally inspiring. It was "Helvetica", the documentary. This morning I thought to myself, what if I had never gone to the IFC in the village that night in the fall with a good friend from design school? What if the movie had never been made? Even deeper than that, what if Helvetica was never a font (I know, I just made the entire design community gasp)? The film reminded me why I do what I do, why I have loved design from the day I took my first graphic design class in high school, and why I continue to love it. And more importantly, WHY I want to keep doing it! At the time in September when I saw the film, I was at a crossroads with my career as I was working at an advertising/promotions agency and not feeling so fulfilled as a creative. I had been there exactly a year when I went to the IFC that night and my mind was filled (prior to seeing the movie) with possibilities of starting my second profession as a teacher. This would include going to grad school and other life-changing situations (moving, applying for loans, etc). So if there are any career-confused designers out there or designers in general who need some inspiration, may I recommend adding it to your NetFlix queue. Seeing it at home will not be as great as seeing it in a theater filled with geeky designers like myself (I think they were all designers, because we all laughed at the same design-joke parts...yes, there were design jokes) but you will still think it is great and hopefully also have a new lease on life as a designer. May you also realize and feel privileged you have a talent that not many have. And may you use some part of the Helvetica family with more vigor in your next project.

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