Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just say no.... to Courier New

From the Arts and Entertainment Editor: Some personal musing. My long deceased father was at one point a letterpress printer. Letterpress printing is literally the same as Guttenberg devised: lead type with ink. It is a technology that is not entirely, but almost completely extinct today being made obsolete by later technologies. Nonetheless, one of the few manual skills I have that I am any good at is literally typesetting the old fashioned way. Strange life. What may be a bit ironic is that the most famous "Briem" in the world is the typeface designer Gunnlaugur SE Briem in Iceland. If there is a family connection it is lost to the ages which is a long story unto itself.. but enough personal stuff.

That is all a lead in to highlight the last few days of a movie that was written up in the New York Times last year called Helvetica*. The Times review is appropriately titled: The Life and Times of a Typeface. Pittsburgh Filmakers is showing it right now for a few days. I have not seen it yet but hope to be there tonight or tomorrow. It is quite literally a film about the typeface. See the Pittsburgh Filmakers site for information on showtimes. But a film about a typeface... it just does not get any higher on the wonk quotient.

* No that font isn't it's namesake, but blogger does not seem to have an easy option for helvetica itself I have no time to figure out how to hack it... simple as it probably is.


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