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  • Number of discs: 1
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  • ASIN: B003SHVY5M
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c62a1b0) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c3f06f0) out of 5 stars Parallel stories on the effects of the economy and technology on a small Wisconsin town and the printing industry July 4 2011
By Steve Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This interesting documentary covers two parallel stories at once - and adds a third one that will be of interest to graphic designers.

The small (population 13,000) town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin - which prides itself on being the Home of the Ice Cream Sundae, the economy has taken it's toll. It's largest employer - the Hamilton Wood Type Company - closed up shop years ago. Over it's history the company under priced its competitors and bought them up. Then it went out of business. Al, that remains is the huge factory. And the townsfolk turned it into a Museum, with a sole "Director". But Two Rivers is not on any major route so no one knows about it. On a good week, maybe 20 visitors come by, not much to use to pay the Director. The Town Council creates three more small museums but it's the ice cream sundaes that bring in the only real money ($500+ in a week!).

Director Justine Nagan follows the two parallel stories of the underused museum and the town losing its residents. But there is a third story and that is the history of the sign printing industry and how young graphic designers, trained on modern PCs are going back to the "roots" of the industry. A professor of Art Design at Purdue University in Indiana makes the 3-hour-plus journey to Two Rivers to teach students in how to use the amazing amount of graphically-interesting wooden type pieces in modern design. We meet a co-op of young artists who are spending time manually setting the typeface to recreate old posters. And there is a discussion of whether the painstaking work required to manually set the wooden type is superior than what I computer program can do.

The film is just over an hour and I found it interesting to watch. The bonus features consist of about 11 deleted scenes, which expand on the film.

This is both the story of a town surviving an economic downturn and a history of the lost art of manually "setting type". As a bonus there is the sound track that consists of about eight songs composed and performed by singer Josh Ritter.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
(If you found my review helpful, please click "yes"
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c2ff2b8) out of 5 stars Artistic and wonderful Nov. 29 2010
By CassieW - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Justine Nagan takes us deep inside the the lost craftsmanship of the print-age in this beautifully edited film. By focusing on one quaint museum in rural America, this film gives us more than a history of wood type, it delights us with a comprehensive sense of the soul and passion poured into this craft.

Typeface prompts the viewer to take a break from our chaotic world, to observe, to savor, and to simply appreciate. Full of textures, flaws and wrinkles, the ambiance of this film will invite you to reach out and touch, and even to lean close and sniff. Even a person not interested in the history of wood type will appreciate the characters and feelings in this wonderful film.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c7954a4) out of 5 stars Tensions in the hipster aesthetic Oct. 3 2011
By S. Smith-Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This documentary is, on the surface, about the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, but really it's about tensions in the hipster aesthetic. Wood type is an excellent subject because it is the epitome of the authentic - it is relatively difficult to use, has a natural grain, and is a dying art form. Many graphic designers are drawn to it, but also need to make a living. That's where the opposite of wood type comes in - polymer. Polymer is absolutely inauthentic as a medium, being quite literally plastic, but it can be made in any size and can help letterpress artists make a living.

The documentary explores the tension between authenticity and convenience, between the need to be true to one's self and one's hipster identity and the need to make a living.

One of the interesting subthemes of the movie is the contrast between the way the original workers at the Hamilton factory interact with the type and the way the hipsters do. For the workers, wood type was a way of making a living, not primarily a means of expression. For the hipsters, this is reversed.

This is a fascinating documentary and one I'd recommend to a wide audience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e5bee10) out of 5 stars A Must See for Graphic Designers and Printers Nov. 25 2012
By Elsa L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Type Face is a must see film for graphic designers and anyone involved in art, type setting, or printing. It is about an
obscure type house in Michigan in the middle of nowhere that is a museum of type, a printhouse for artists interested in Intaglio and Letterpress
printing and a type production house, done the old fashioned way. Inspires a love for the process of creating
fonts and the skill needed to create type. The production of this video has not only generated a new interest
in Typography, but is also generating much needed income to keep the Michigan facility in business. It is
also generating interest in resurrecting small type houses across America. What an exciting revival.
Yes, we've come a long way with computer typesetting, but something has been lost in the "progress". There is
much to be said about the tactile aspects of this art form, not to be missed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9be52b94) out of 5 stars good film Feb. 21 2014
By Samuel Halperin - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Good film if you liked Helvetica, have read Just My Type, or are in general a fan of typography. Highly recommended.

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