Font Men — a documentary on typography

Just predicting, but I’m pretty sure Kanye West would resonate with this documentary…


You see, Font Men is a SXSW 2014 Official Selection — a 6 minute short film/documentary on the two partners of the most successful type design studio in the world: Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones. They have since split, but before their parting of ways, their work has been picked up by the Wall Street Journal and even President Obama. This film is the look at them as partners, their studio, and perhaps the most fascinating part to me: how they go about starting a new type face.

If you saw the ‘O D H’ thumbnail from the homepage, that is representative of the first three characters they design (a full circle, half circle, and straight line character, respectively, that hits all four boundaries of a character). That alone was inspiring, on top of the well-presented production with, for example, superb animation to understand the variations in a font. As a design geek, this documentary was a great, quick watch and inspiring to find that perfect font for my next project (or better yet… drawing an ‘O D H’ for it).

‘Untucked’ — Danny Pudi’s doc on 1977 Marquette

I love 30 for 30s and ‘Untucked’ is the latest must-see in the ESPN series. The 15 minute short is directed by Community actor Danny Pudi and focuses on the groundbreaking untucked jerseys of the 1977 Marquette basketball team that went on to upset its way to the national title under Coach Al McGuire. Pudi, or Abed as we all know him, is a 2001 Marquette alum and talked to the likes of Doc Rivers (another Marquette alum), Scoop Jackson, and the team’s star player Bo Ellis — dare I say, the Kanye West of 1970s basketball.

The Kanye West?! As the documentary reveals, Bo Ellis was a fashion major and Coach McGuire allowed him to design what became the next flashy trademark of Marquette’s stylish attire: the untucked jerseys. The jerseys were ahead of its time, and were outlawed shortly thereafter for a behind-the-scenes reason that rivals thought the stylish appeal gave Marquette an unfair advantage in recruiting. Plus, they brought Marquette some good fortune! They upset North Carolina in the finals in Coach McGuire’s last game. That’s just as ‘G’ as the star player designing the jerseys. Watch and enjoy this fascinating look at 70s basketball and 70s design and fashion below!

A couple subtle presentation notes that warrant mentioning: the sketches as overlays were such a nice touch to emphasize Marquette’s progressive jersey designs. You’ll notice it throughout, but what you may not notice… Danny Pudi’s nod to friend, Community better-half, and rapper Childish Gambino by using the beat for “All The Shine” in the first set of interviews after the intro. Here’s what I envisioned upon picking that up…


T.I. ‘Beyond The Trail’ Documentary

From director Brandon “BI” Robinson comes the full one hour long documentary on T.I. called ‘Beyond The Trail’. As you’d imagine, we get an in-depth look, umm, beyond the trail from T.I.’s lowest of lows (2007 weapons arrest) to highest of highs (2009 Grammy performance of “Swagga Like Us” f/ Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay Z, and M.I.A.) and spending time with his family. I’ll be tuned into this never before scenes “Swagga Like Us” footage for sure.

Chiraq Documentary (Ep. 2)

Noisey is back with their second episode of “Chiraq”. In this epsiode they talk to Chief Keef while out in New York, as well as catch up with MGS and Global Gangstas Entertainment. They also speak to and introduce us to a young Chicago rapper Yung Trell.

I usually have a strong opinion about Chicago documentaries, but I think it’ll be best if I wait until all the episodes have been released before a give my opinion on this particular project.

If you haven’t seen the first Episode check it out below.