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Helvetica

Mark Mzyk | February 20, 2011

Helvetica Type Blocks / CC License

I just watched the documentary Helvetica. It scratched an itch of mine, which is peering over the wall into the design world. The design of fonts particularly hits home, since it bridges two worlds I live in: that of computers and that of writing.

The film is intriguing, as it explores not only what goes into a typeface, but what people read into a typeface. Helvetica is ubiquitous. You have an opinion of it, even if your opinion is not to notice it.

While the film was about Helvetica, for me it morphed into a film about code. In the same way Helvetica and other fonts are designed, my day to day job is to design code. This is what I do. It is what I love.

Like fonts, code can be good, it can be bad; it can fail miserably, it can succeed widely; people can agree on it, or disagree on it. For those that practice the trade, it is their life, but to everyone on the outside, it’s a mystery often best left ignored.

I’m at my happiest when I design code. Not when I mechanically write it, not when I sling it with reckless abandon, but when I design it and it becomes beautiful.

I can only hope that I’ll have the fortune to write code that one day becomes as influential, as ubiquitous, as hated, and as loved as


Helvetica Poster / CC License

Filed in: Design.