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Movies where type/graphic design is a plot element.

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I watched the Ninth Gate last night from Netflix. IMHO, a rather unremarkable film that I normally would have just shut off if not for the fact that it all centered around antique books. Type didn't play a huge part, but got me thinking about what other semi-mainstream movies might use graphic design and/or type centric plot elements. Any come to mind?

Any romances set in a print shop? Any murder mysterious surrounding a sign factory? The Scarlet Letter?

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Shop Girl - the bloke (who isn't Steve Martin) is a failed type designer.

Domino – Chris Walken’s character rants about design apparently

I’ve not seen either movie.

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Truffaut loved books. In the "Mississippi Mermaid" there is a scene of the printing process of a tobaco package with the face of Catherine Deneuve, and if I remember well, in "The Man Who Loved Women" there is one or two scenes about books and printing.

I also remember a cool scene in an antique book store with Bogart in The Big Sleep.

Di Caprio is arrested in a french press in "Catch Me If You Can".

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david h

There're a lot of them.

-- The New Age - Judy Davis is a graphic designer.

Type/typefaces (movies & tv) see the documentary: Hollywood at Last

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Stephen Coles

It's a small part, but there's a great scene in The Lives of Others, in which a Stasi expert describes to an investigator the letterforms of the typewriter model used by a dissident writer.

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Stephen Coles

> Shop Girl - the bloke (who isn’t Steve Martin) is a failed type designer.

Not exactly. He just says he's working on a font. It's more of a funny little line than an actual intended profession.

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Miss Tiffany

American Psycho with Christian Bale. There are a few great scenes where the yuppie lawyers compare typefaces and paper stock, they also mention letterpress.

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Miss Tiffany

I should add that the initial meeting where the cards are shown and compared gets Christian Bale's character mad enough to kill the guy who supposedly has a nicer card.

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Nick Shinn

Dustin Hoffman played an art director in Kramer vs. Kramer.
His marriage was ruined staying up all night working on ad layouts.

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The main female character in De Niro/Pacino film “Heat” is a graphic designer with a copy of Fuse on her desk in one scene.

As mentioned above Patrick Bateman being upstaged by someone else’s business card is the classic one: “Oh my God, it even has a watermark!”

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It's not a movie, but I've always liked the Twilight Zone episode "Printer's Devil." Burgess Meredith plays an expert Lin-o-type operator who turns out to be Satan.
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There was a German film I saw a few years ago on TV... I think it dated from the'80s.

A famous graphic designer - head of a big firm is always wrapped up in his work. Eats sleeps and drinks design.

Design design design.

His wife is bored.

She has an affair and runs off with a hip young artist.
Uber cool young artist.

The husband responds by taking the young atist (who reminds him of himself) under his wing and turning him into an uber successful, famous designer - With whom his wife quickly becomes bored and she returns home.

The young artist's life is destroyed by success. What a terrible revenge.

I don't remember the name of the film though

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Choz Cunningham

There’s that obscure film that recently came out. I doubt anyone on here has seen it. It’s called “Helvetica”.

Here, you need this: .~

(Sorry, I just had to.)

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I always loved the opening title credits for Dr. Strangelove.
As for the type being a plot element, I thought that the recreation of Times Square was well done from the recent King Kong.

On a side note: I always loved the map in Goonies, even though it is not well done, but I thought it was still cool.


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The "Out-of-Towners" starring Steve Martin as an Ad Executive who has an interview in New York. His hilarious hijinx throughout the movie become the concept for his interview presentation.
In "Catwoman" Haley Barry's character is a Graphic Designer during the day.

Also, if you goto www.imdb.com and search for Graphic Designer or Web Designer under plots, there's like 4 or 5 movies that come up with characters who play such roles.

Recently, I watched a show on the Sci-Fi Channel called "Mind-Control with Derren Brown" who manipulates people with subliminal messages. Here's a video of him tricking two employees of the Saatchi and Saatchi ad agency that they'll pitch him an idea he has already written down.
Sci Fi Pulse

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In the 1991 Scorcese remake of Cape Fear, Jessica Lange's character is a graphic designer. She has a conversation with her daughter, played by Juliette Lewis, about how to draw a logo for a travel agency. Later on, the villain Max Cady (Robert De Niro) taunts her about her "pesky little sketches". Not quite a crucial plot point, but not a bad reference either.

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