Documentaries about typography: what's next ?

cedilla's picture

Hi !

I'm currently building a list of interesting documentaries about typography for a local design event.

While Hustwit's Helvetica is a must-see gem, I realize most people have seen it. Adding it to my program would be okay, but I'm pretty sure there are other quality projects out there.

I already have a preliminary list, but I'd like to have the opinion of the Typophile community. I want to surprise my audience with new films and / or hard to find documentaries.

Any suggestions ?
Have you heard of new films coming out soon ?

Thanks a lot in advance !

- -

(by the way, excuse my average english...)

PublishingMojo's picture

Pas du tout, Jean-Francois. Your English is better than that of many native speakers on this site.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Check out this older thread: Videos about typography

Bert Vanderveen's picture

“Comic Sans – The Movie” would have been nice and fun, but I guess it’s not gonna happen…

Serious now: the BBC has broadcast a few documentaries and specials (as part of a culture program) about typographers or the graphic arts in general. I recorded a few of those. If you are interested in Stephen Fry’s take on the press used by Gutenberg or a short interview with Matthew Carter, contact me: mail [at] bertvanderveen [dot] nl.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

afonseca1974's picture


I had the same question a couple of weeks ago, and after some search I found this page from our typophile colleague Alessandro Segalini. I consider it quit complet and has at the bottom of the page a section on Film and Video.
Hope that this help you...


paulstonier's picture

Actually, there kind of is a Comic Sans Documentary

I don't believe Typeface is available on DVD yet, but you can try and catch a screening.

cedilla's picture

Hi guys ! Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I'll check them out.

Do not hesitate to add more ! : )

Tomi from Suomi's picture


I remembered an old Flash-movie: "Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black" by Cheshire Dave.
I did some Googling and found it here:

It also has a link to Cheshire Dave's site, where there might be more things like this.

Have fun.

paulstonier's picture

Ah yes, I remember the Cooper Black movie. It's…different…

David Rault's picture

I saw a DVD about Frutiger, and another one about Eric Gill. but I couldnt get my hands on them, therefore couldnt watch them. but they do exist.


satya's picture

The Man of Black and White - Adrian Frutiger
I watched it long back, and it was truly inspiring.

cedilla's picture

Thanks so much. More more more ! :)

By the way, check this out : Rives at TED
Most of us are not huge fans of ascii art, but it's still made with typography.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

The Gill one I saw was a documentary by a guy who’s parents lived in the same village where Gill had his commune & consisted mostly of interviews with people who had secondhand recollections. Not much about type(design) in it.

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

cedilla's picture

Bert : I guess it was Looking for Mr. Gill.

PublishingMojo's picture

Not much about type(design) in it.

Bert, nearly 70 years after his death, Gill is remembered mostly for his type design and his, ahem, unconventional sexual inclinations. In his lifetime he was probably better known as a sculptor, and described himself on his gravestone as a stone-carver.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Yep, Looking for it was. And I know about Gill’s work outside of the realm of glyphs. A lot of that looks quite dated, while his Sans is still very fresh. What does that tell us about history?

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

kentlew's picture

> I don’t believe Typeface is available on DVD yet, but you can try and catch a screening.

FWIW, the Typeface movie will be screened as this year's Wednesday night public event at TypeCon in Atlanta on 15 July (co-sponsored by AIGA Atlanta). The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Jim Moran, David Shields, Nick Sherman, and John Downer.

AIGA Atlanta is selling tickets for general admission. TypeCon attendees are guaranteed a seat (if you check it off on your registration).

Some folks may remember that Justine Nagan gave a preview of some of the footage at last year's TypeCon in Buffalo. We're very excited to welcome her back to TypeCon to debut the finished documentary.

dan_reynolds's picture

The documentary to see is Final Marks, from the 1970s –,141

There is a short clip on YouTube, here –

tamye's picture

Richard Kegler of P22 is working on a documentary about Jim Rimmer and his amazing life and body of work. A trailer debuted at TypeCon in Buffalo last year. Can't wait for the finished product. Delicious somethings from the Pie Tree Press.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

What about the video commissioned by Typophile or Punchcut? I remember Joe Pemberton had it on his blog. I loved that video.


Sharon Van Lieu's picture

This is the one I'm thinking of.

ben_archer's picture

Aha! Found it at last...

Two years old – so not new and not a documentary either, but a typographic fairy tale called "Little Yellow Writing Hood" by Strange Attractors, and commissioned by Fontfont. Like the Cheshire Dave piece, it's different.

There is also a really nice piece of intro animation at Out of Sorts Press and further into their site, a video tutorial about the California job case. Enjoy.

cedilla's picture

Hey guys, thanks so much for your help !

Great community. Great suggestions.


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