This email is in response to the seeing the film, Helvetica.
To The Helvetica Film Team: I recently had the pleasure of watching your movie, Helvetica, and I thought that it was very good overall. However, never once was Geigy Pharmaceutical and its top graphic design team (many now in Helvetica Heaven like Fred Troller, Theo Welti, Marcus Lowe and many others.) mentioned in the role that Helvetica played in the worldwide corporate identity (Branding) that Geigy created using Helvetica. (In the beginning Geigy originally had an exclusive contractual agreement for the use of Helvetica to my knowledge) Geigy literally wrote the book on Corporate/Brand Identity through their in-house design group both in Basel and in the U.S. which many others followed throughout the world and in many cases still follow. We all have creative license to create history as we choose and that is very acceptable here in the colonies, but to have the Swiss designers who were interviewed in your film leave Geigy out is astonishing. All the designers interviewed missed a valuable part of Graphic Design History by leaving out the incredible Graphic Design movement at Geigy, Basel. There has been nothing like it since. Maybe you were aware of this or maybe it was edited out.... but unfortunately many young and growing designers have lost a valuable piece of inspiring graphic design/type history desperately needed in today's industry. Geigy In-House Design ( design/copy standards continued through the merger of Ciba & Geigy ) played a very important role in the use of Helvetica globally in setting Swiss Design standards including the grid, flush left, copy setting and copy writing standards. Most of all, when design©= concept, the audience would actually be GRABBED by the combination of graphic+headline and would actually READ stunning copy in an era of perfection and creativity when design© ruled. In my opinion, you had the opportunity to preserve a fabulous movement in global graphic design© concept guided by Helvetica. Clean & Simple... when marketing wasn't a department and design& copy had a godfather... or today when creativity and democracy = mediocrity.
Thanks, Bob Talarczyk,
Creative Director/CEO Darkhorse Design, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Former Design Director, Producer Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals,U.S.A.
(this email was originally sent to the creators of Helvetica (the film) Swiss Dots, London with no response)