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EEC: Documentary Studies

Previewing our next documentary film selection

The Econ Extra Credit Team Apr 1, 2021
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“Globalization” is the term we’ve come to use over the past 30 years or so to describe how the world’s many disparate economies, cultures, businesses and people are increasingly intertwined. It’s come about through advances in technology and expanding investment and trade in goods and services among nations.

Our documentary selection this month examines one specific piece of the visual evidence of globalization: a typeface. Gary Hustwit’s 2007 film “Helvetica” takes an expansive look at the modern history of typography and the role of this ubiquitous typeface in the shaping of global culture. For everyone from corner shop owners to giant worldwide corporations, punk artists to top designers, Helvetica has become — as one subject in the film put it — like a “mother tongue.” In 2021, it’s more omnipresent than ever. In fact, it was updated to better befit small screens in 2019.

We hope you’ll watch “Helvetica” with us — you may never look at the world in the same way again. It’s available to stream for a small rental fee on several subscription-based services.

And, as always, please let us know what you think! Email your thoughts to, and we’ll feature some of those answers in an upcoming newsletter.

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