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Finally, typeface has its day
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It’s all around us, yet to the untrained eye, you would never notice it.

It’s on your computer, on the side of trucks and in the newspaper.

It’s a typeface called Helvetica, one of the most commonly used fonts in the world. And filmmaker and graphic designer Gary Hustwit has taken an extensive look at this font in his documentary, "Helvetica," which will premiere in Gainesville today at Brenau University.

Light refreshments will be served prior to the screening, and anyone interested in starting a font discussion can seek out the graphic design students wearing the black T-shirts with the film’s title, said Mark Taylor, program director of graphic design at Brenau.

Taylor said when he first saw the movie, he did think a film about a font was a little weird. More attention is usually given to posters or logo design, he said.

"The fact that there was a film about a font, I thought, that’s really different. When I purchased it, I realized, this is really good," he said. "Since many other universities were having a premiere, we thought we’d have our own as well."

The film takes a look at how the font is used in everyday life, along with various graphic designers talking about how they use the typeface. There are also multiple images of the font used across Europe and the United States. It’s especially popular in Scandinavia.

"So you see anything from subway typography to billboards," Taylor said. "A lot of it is how people are reacting toward a font, but it’s also where it’s being seen and how it’s being used."

The film also became a lesson for the graphic design students at Brenau as well, he said. They created tent cards and posters for the premiere and were inspired to get the matching "Helvetica" T-shirts, too.

"When we first saw the film, it really surprised them and it really provoked a discussion about, ‘Wow, I’ve seen this font before and never really noticed it," Taylor said. "It’s surprising."

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