When I reflect back on the Helvetica Film, I'm surprised that I can't really remember very much about it. Can you? (OK, so I only ever got to see the shorter version that was shown on the BBC.) But the one thing that does stick in my mind is the trailer which shows an interview with Wim Crouwell.
He's not really talking about Helvetica, at all - is he? He's talking about Modernism. But he's also reflecting, I think, on how his love of modernism is a reflection of his education and training.
As Ko was saying just the other day, his visit to a Marcel Duchamp exhibition in Paris when he was a student made a very deep impression on him. For me, it was a major Bauhaus exhibition at the Royal Academy: and, as a consequence, 'form follows function' has been a guiding principle for me throughout my career (or "the meaning is in the content of the text", as Wim says in that clip). And once those deep impressions are made, it's very hard - if not impossible - to shake them off.
But just as important to us when we're learning to become designers is what we reject. And what we reject is usually what went immediately before. I've been reminded about this because I came across a charming little book on my bookshelf the other day.
It dates from 1976 and represents everything that I hated at the time (although I will admit to owning a brilliant pair of Newman elephant cords which were exactly that colour orange: to which my father's reaction was "you're not going out dressed like that, are you?").
I can look at that book now, though, and appreciate that there's a lot of skill and craftsmanship gone into creating it. But, for the life of me, I can't learn to love it.