I don't know how I missed this film when it was shown at the Walker (well actually I miss a lot of things so that's wishful thinking). Happily Helvetica A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit was shown on PBS the other night on an episode of Independent Lens.
I watched it twice yesterday! (It's only an hour long.) It's a great tribute to a font that is a ubiquitous part of our visual landscape.
I recommend that everyone watch this film, whether they are graphic designers or artists or even if they think this is something of no interest to them in their daily lives. Type and design do matter in our daily lives and as a person living in the world this film will remind you of that in very clear ways. Additionally the interviews with famous typographers and designers put additional perspective on this 52-year-old typeface.
Sadly, when I checked the Independent Lens listings it didn't come up as scheduled to show, but keep a look out; maybe it will be in your area on PBS or at an art museum theater. You can also get a DVD of the film for $26 at the film's website if you can't wait for a rerun.
Disclaimer: in 22 years working as a graphic designer I can only remember using Helvetica twice: a misguided engineer-author demanded it for book features it wasn't suited for (I didn't have to say "I told you so"); and early on when a book got farmed out to a typesetter with no san serif font choices!) I'm a Frutiger girl; or give me Gil Sans; and so it goes. Just so you know where I'm coming from. I thought the film very balanced!