Typography Thursday – Three Typography Films You need to Watch

Articles March 7, 2013

We’ve seen different documentary films that tackled different aspects of design, street art, and even advertising. But there seems to be a lack of documentary feature about typography – well except for Helvetica, the 2007 documentary by Gary Huswit. Despite of the well-meaning and informative documentary of the Helvetica type, there seems to be no other film that discussed typography as it was meant to be – invisible, legible, and readable.

If you’re looking for creative and typography-focused feature films – look no further. We’ve compiled some of the best three documentaries that feature typography not only as an element of design, but as a passion and source of inspiration for those who practice and saw them.



Typeface Film


Typface is an independent feature documentary film that focuses on visual culture, technology, and graphic design. The main focus of the film is the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The film shows different international artists meet retired craftsmen and how these two, modern and traditional, cultures converge and share ideas.

The film is a motivational documentary that allows its viewers an inside look at how wood types are created, and how it was challenged by technology.



Linotype: The Film 

Linotype is a full-feature documentary featuring the Linotype casting machine. The film features the charming and emotional story of the people connected and impacted by the Linotype machine. The documentary also features the struggle of the highly-skilled operators of the machine against the lack of interest on the machine. It’s a melancholic yet enlightening film about preserving the past and looking forward to a better future.


“Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.



Upside Down, Left to Right: A Letterpress Film

The film Upside Down, Left to Right is a short documentary about letterpress printing. The short documentary focuses on how the letterpress works and the inspiration it gives to its practitioners. It provides an insight on the complicated yet calming process of creating prints using the letterpress process. The film features Paul Collier of Plymouth University.

Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.


If you know other typography films that we haven’t featured here, let us know through the comments section!

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Cadence is You The Designer's senior blogger, and the most jack-of-all-trades of the staff. She's always trying out something different every day, some of which fuels her posts here on the blog. Let her know if you want us to post more about your favorite topic - she might know more than a thing or two about it!

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