Top 7 Incredible Documentaries on Graphic Illustration

Graphic illustration is a creative amalgamation of words, symbols, and images to send a message through visual communication.

Documentaries about graphic illustration, design, and typography are not really main-stream; therefore the public doesn’t really know much about them. But that does not mean that the documentaries don’t exist, from biopics about designers who have inspired some of the greatest illustrations in history to films that make you think about the conventions of design. All of the titles listed below will help give you an insight into the world of Graphic illustration.

Below are seven of the must-watch documentaries for every budding graphic illustrator or designer:

  1. Helvetica

This design documentary is Indie produced and has an amazing 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film examines typography and all the elements that go into a great typography design and illustration. This movie is essential to anyone who wants to explore the various themes of typography and illustration and the principles behind it.

  1. Bauhaus: The face of the 20th century:

From 1919 to 1993, spreading between three cities, the Bauhaus School of Art has managed to deeply influence the graphic illustration world with their modern designs in a fundamental way. Their influence is still felt in modern schools of graphic design and illustration.

  1. Design is one: Lella and Massimo Vignelli

“The Design Is One”traces the success path of the charming and eccentric couple, Lella, and Massimo Vignelli. They are mostly known for designing the New York City Subway map. The couple brought their modern taste into all of their illustrations and this documentary serves as an emotional tribute to all of their work.

  1. The Artist series

This documentary is a series of 5to 10 minute videos that are stitched together to make a really cool documentary about established illustrators and designers; what makes them tick and how they go about with the process of creating new art.

  1. Exit through the gift shop:

When it comes to graphic illustration this documentary is a very Meta work of art. While it does not only revolve around illustration but it is one biopic that every artist and non-artist should have on their watch list.

  1. Making It:

This documentary highlights the art world through the eyes of three very talented illustrators. It sheds light on the balance of an artists’ love for his work and the necessity to pay a month’s rent with the money that they make off their artwork. “Making It” really will reiterate why you went to art school in the first place.

  1. A128:

This documentary takes a look at young artists, based in Toronto, who are trying their best to be the next generation of established illustrators. It delivers the message on how the artists struggle to achieve their dreams and overcome the obstacles that come their way.


There you have it, seven remarkable documentaries about graphic illustration that are of excellent use for budding artists and also amazing infotainment for non-artists as well. These documentaries cover the field of graphic design, illustration, and typography extensively and give you an inside look at artists and how their mind works.

Be ready to work really hard, the graphic illustration field is wonderful once you are involved in it and the end result is completely worth all the effort.