Documentary Films That Will Change Your Perspective on the Concept of Design

Documentary films that have a special place in cinema and that are divided into various sub-genres can have a deep impact on us in terms of inspiration. In this article, we selected some of the documentaries that can provide us different perspectives on design, creativity and advertising.

 I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made the film were magicians.

Francis Ford Coppola

Some films will have a permanent impact on us and transform our life. As the master director Francis Ford Coppola stated, the most impressive part of the cinema and films is this magical touch on lives and perspectives of the audience.

Films with the power to transform our perspectives enable us the opportunities to view our surroundings from a different viewpoint. We try to look at and understand the world constructed by screenplay writers and directors.

Documentary films as a cinematic method offer us new visual and auditory opportunities with a integrity of topic and a reconstruction of reality. Documentary films that consider reality in the creative dimension and reach all kinds of audience nourish us emotionally and encourage us to use our observation power in a more sensitive way.

In this article, we will list the best documentary films that can change your perspective and ways of perception on the concept of design. If you are ready, let’s go!

1. Design Is One: The Vignellis (2012)

The Massimo and Lella Vignelli couple, who were born in Italy, are among the most iconic and famous designers around the world. During their long career, their motto has been “If you can’t find it, design it!”

Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli documentary, filmed by the producer Kathy Brew in 2012, tells the unique thinking style and the creativity of Vignelli couple in a sophisticated manner. This film, one of the first films that comes to mind when we talk about design films, includes everything about graphics and design. Your ways of seeing and perception might change forever after watching this film.

2. Art & Copy (2009)

Art & Copy is one of the highly debated documentaries on advertisement and creativity. This film, made by the documentary producer Doug Pray, who is known for his unique work like Hype!, Scratch and Surfwise, reveals the creativity of the most famous and the most influential advertisers in our age.

This documentary that made an overwhelming impression on Sundance Film Festival reaches back to the 1960s where the advertisement sector emerged in real terms and focuses on the rebel generation who gave life to the advertisement with “Creativity Revolution”. If you are interested in writing and curious about advertisement, this documentary is just for you.

3. Eames: The Architect and the Painter (2011)

Architect and designer Charles Eames and his artist wife Ray Eames have an important place in modern architecture, art and furniture design with numerous work throughout their lives and also with their inspiring personalities.

Eames: The Architect and the Painter documentary focuses on the 40-year artistic partnership and the life story of the iconic Eames couple. This strong film that tells the story of this couple sheds light to Eames’ lives through interviews with colleagues and experts as well as through archive materials.

4. Helvetica (2007)

One of the most recognized fonts in the design world is Helvetica. Among these reasons why this font to is liked and used so much is its simple, legible and sterilized style. This font, first designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman in Switzerland in 1950s, took the name Helvetica, which meant Swiss in Latin, when introduced to the American market. Today this font is commonly used by many global brands.

The font was filmed by Gary Hustwit in 2007 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and its film takes us to a global visual culture, typography and graphic design journey.

5. The Visual Language of Herbert Matter (2010)

Herbert Matter was a Swiss-born photographer and avant-garde graphic designer. The artist was famous for his innovative and experimental work, and helped to shape the vocabulary of graphic design as well.

The Visual Language of Herbert Matter documentary filmed by Reto Caduff tells us how the artist formed a relationship with the lifestyle of this age. This work that is important in terms of design-related films analyses the language created by the artist who gave new meanings to fine arts.

Visual Sources:

Design Is One: The Vignellis (2012)

Art & Copy (2009)

Eames: The Architect and the Painter (2011)

Helvetica (2007)

The Visual Language of Herbert Matter (2010)

23.12.2019 - Culture and Art
Design, culture