Last night I went to a screening of Helvetica. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: a documentary about the typeface. It was very interesting and entertaining and now I can't stop noticing every sans-serif typeface I see.
When I was in my 20s, I worked for many years at a company that sold custom-printed birth announcements and invitations. My job title was "editor" but we called ourselves by our real job description, "typesetters."
Obviously this was in the 1990s, so there was no physical typesetting involved. Actually, that's not quite true. When I first started we sent a certain number of orders away to have dies made for letterpress printing, but that went by the wayside fairly quickly.
We set people's baby announcements and invitations in a good variety of different fonts, always making the baby's name or event title larger and the RSVP line smaller and spacing between distinct portions of the message. There were lots of fancy fonts available: Murray Hill, Amazone, Park Avenue, Lydian, etc., but Helvetica was still a popular choice.
My desktop publishing skills have languished since then, but I still appreciate type design. The documentary featured a lot of people who either loved or hated Helvetica. I have to say I've never given it a lot of thought, but now that I've seen the movie, I appreciate it more than I did before.
If you're a font geek, I highly recommend that you seek out a screening of "Helvetica" or rent the DVD when it comes out this fall. The screening I attended was put on by our local AIGA chapter, so you may want to check with them to see if there's one coming to your area anytime soon.