Helvetica in 23 Characters

Yesterday I sat through a screening of the film “Helvetica” at the SXSW conference in Austin. Three weeks earlier, I attended a screening of “The Number 23.”

Both films make an enlightening point of demonstrating how common — perhaps even invasive — everyday items can become.

For example, I write this post while awaiting my flight to Indianapolis. I depart from gate C23, which is typeset in the font Helvetica.

Perhaps more films about everyday items will be made, continuing this trend. Here are a few suggestions:

  • “8.5×11 Paper:” did it spawn the 1″ margin
  • “The Phillips Head:” how it screwed the flat head
  • “Air Quotes:” why they are the only form of puntcuation that is mimed
  • “Zero vs O:” why the number is frequently prononced like the vowel

Or perhaps someone will create a mockumentory on just how frequent the number 23 is typeset in Halvetica, much like the number that marks my gate.

1 Comment


  1. The Number 23 was good movie and I was glad to see it change right before it got completely unbelievable. I am looking forward to Helvetica (now typed in Arial :D )

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