Typography: Man on Fire, Helvetica

Continuing my discussion on the use of type in films (see my previous post), I also recently read a good article on the use of subtitles in Tony Scott's 'Man on Fire'. I've mentioned this in passing on this blog before, but Speak Up does a whole lot more...and has screen shots as well :)
In Man on Fire, Tony Scott turns its obligatory subtitles into visual stimuli for the movie, intertwining -- sometimes gently, other times abruptly -- typography into its scenes. The subtitles, rendered most of the time in Franklin Gothic, are not confined to the top layer of the film, they have depth and perception, they wait for their turn and they, like their real-life actors, hit their mark as told. This, however, is not groundbreaking, many movies have used typography better and many of the visual puns in Man on Fire are reminiscent of Typography 101 exercises (How do you make type scream? You make it big and bold, silly). Nonetheless, Man on Fire achieves small, visual victories that add charisma and personality to commonly bland and uninspiring subtitles.

[Source: http://www.underconsideration.com/speakup/archives/002231.html]

If you're into typography, make sure you give it a read.


The Helvetica documentary is now available on DVD! I still haven't watched it and am dying to get my hands on it. Hmmm...something must be done. I wonder if it'll be available for sale in any of the bookstores here. I hope so!