Must-See Documentaries for Designers & Artists

Taken from: designers.watch


 

Design Is One: Lella and Massimo Vignelli

Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli

A portrait of two of the world’s most influential designers, whose work encompasses thing from graphics and interiors to corporate identities.

Netflix iTunes


Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Showcasing the life and work of America’s most important industrial designers; the husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames.

PBS iTunes


Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Exploring the life and career of Julius Shulman; widely regarded by experts as the greatest architectural photographer.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


Ken Burns: American Lives - Frank Lloyd Wright

Ken Burns: American Lives – Frank Lloyd Wright

This two-part documentary tells the story of America’s greatest architect. A man who’s exceptional life, revolutionary designs, buildings, and ideas changed the way we live.

Amazon


American Look

American Look

This 1958 film pays tribute to the people who design in America. It offers a look into the architecture, interiors, furniture, product, and technology that is iconic 1950s.

YouTube


Herb & Dorothy

Herb & Dorothy

Tells the extraordinary story of a postal clerk and a librarian who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


Helvetica

Helvetica

A film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface and how it affects our lives.

Amazon iTunes


Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York

A profile of the legendary and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Amazon Hulu Netflix


Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight

Known for co-founding New York Magazine and creating the I Love NY campaign, the full breadth of Glaser’s remarkable artistic output is revealed in this documentary.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

Vidal Sassoon emerges from humble beginnings to revolutionize the art of hairstyling. He’s an artist and craftsman who “changed the world with a pair of scissors.”

Amazon Hulu iTunes


A Model for Matisse

A Model for Matisse

Explore the friendship between Henri Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie, the Dominican nun who inspired him to create some of his best-loved works.

Amazon Netflix


Objectified

Objectified

A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Typeface

Typeface

Artists and craftsmen meet at a museum and print shop in rural Wisconsin to practice modern designs and traditional techniques.

Amazon iTunes


Cutie and the Boxer

Cutie and the Boxer

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Everything Must Change - Piet Zwart

Everything Must Change – Piet Zwart

A documentary about Piet Zwart (1885-1977), a designer who lived for innovation and prepared the way for the international success that is now known as Dutch Design.

Vimeo


Urbanized

Urbanized

Gary Hustwit’s film looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and explores a diverse range of urban design projects around the world.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

A thoughtful portrait of a renowned artist, this documentary shines the spotlight on New York City painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Amazon iTunes


How to Make a Book with Steidl

How to Make a Book with Steidl

Gerhard Steidl stands as one of the few remaining publishers to maintain an unwavering commitment to the quality and craftsmanship of the printed book.

Netflix


Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Filmmaker Thierry Guetta’s project to chronicle the underground world of street art takes a fascinating twist when he meets graffiti artist Banksy.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Linotype: The Film

Linotype: The Film

A documentary about the Linotype typecasting machine. Called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society.

Amazon iTunes


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei uses social media and art to inspire protests and suffers government persecution for his actions.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Between the Folds

Between the Folds

The stories of 10 fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists who forge unconventional lives as modern-day paper-folders.

iTunes


Just Like Being There

Just Like Being There

Nearly 50 years after the first iconic concert posters, meet contemporary artists who’ve brought gig posters into the mainstream.

Amazon Netflix iTunes


Art & Copy

Art & Copy

A powerful film about advertising and inspiration. It reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time.

Amazon iTunes


Sign Painters

Sign Painters

Celebrating the hand-painted sign industry, an American tradition. This film explores a fascinating insight into a highly specialized underground trade.

Amazon iTunes


Style Wars

Style Wars

Exposes the growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late ’70s and early ’80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and and breakdancing.

Hulu iTunes


The Visual Language of Herbert Matter

The Visual Language of Herbert Matter

A revealing look at the fascinating life story of the highly influential mid-century modern design master.

iTunes


Gerhard Richter Painting

Gerhard Richter Painting

Renowned German painter Gerhard Richter reveals his fascinating creative process and unique methods.

Netflix iTunes


Sketches of Frank Gehry

Sketches of Frank Gehry

An intimate portrait of the rule breaking and controversial architect, directed by his longtime friend and supporter Sydney Pollack.

Amazon iTunes


Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers

Celebrates the independent spirit of D.I.Y. culture, detailing how a group of like-minded American artists emerged from the underground in the early 1990s.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story

The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story

Follows the life and career of the accomplished caricature artist Al Hirschfeld, who rose to prominence drawing caricatures of actors and celebrities starting in the 1920s.

YouTube


How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

iTunes


The Cool School

The Cool School

How LA learned to love modern art. A lesson in how a few renegade artists built an art scene from scratch.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


The Many Lives of William Klein

The Many Lives of William Klein

One of the world’s most influential photographers, William Klein pioneered the art of street photography and created profoundly iconic fashion images of the 20th century.

YouTube


Beauty Is Embarassing

Beauty Is Embarassing

A funny and inspiring documentary featuring the life and times of one of America’s most important artists, Wayne White.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


Future by Design

Future by Design

Shares the life and far-reaching vision of Jacque Fresco, who some consider to be a modern-day Da Vinci.

iTunes


Teaching to See

Teaching to See

A film about patient and dedicated teaching, about learning to look and visualize in order to design, and about the importance of drawing.

Vimeo YouTube


Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Clean Lines, Open Spaces

This documentary looks at mid-century modern architecture and how the post World War II building boom brought modern design into our homes.

YouTube


The Successor of Kakiemon

The Successor of Kakiemon

Follows the Japanese family that has been transforming everyday pottery into the world famous mythical Kakiemon porcelain for over 400 years.

Vimeo


PressPausePlay

PressPausePlay

Explores how the digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed the creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way.

Amazon Vimeo YouTube


print-the-legend

Print the Legend

The next technological revolution is here. Follow the people who are racing to bring 3D printing to consumers.

Netflix


Tim's Vermeer

Tim’s Vermeer

An inventor tries to solve one of the greatest mysteries of art; how 17th-century Johannes Vermeer achieved such photographic realism in his paintings.

Amazon iTunes


The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo

The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo

Explores the life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who became an international sensation in the worlds of modern art and radical politics.

YouTube


Coast Modern

Coast Modern

Traveling along the Pacific North West coastline, this film showcases the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture, and the homes that have become their legacies.

Amazon Hulu iTunes


Design the New Business

Design the New Business

A film dedicated to investigating how designers and businesspeople are working together in new ways to solve the problems facing business today.

Vimeo


Finding Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier

The life and work of a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs made her one of the most accomplished street photographers.

Amazon iTunes


Why Beauty Matters

Why Beauty Matters

Contemporary philosopher Roger Scruton presents a fascinating argument for the importance of beauty in our art and in our lives.

Vimeo


John Portman: A Life of Building

John Portman: A Life of Building

Examines the work and legacy of one of the world’s most daring and influential architects, whose buildings have redefined the cityscapes around the world.

Amazon iTunes


John Portman: A Life of Building

Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present

A mesmerizing and intimate portrait of Marina Abramović, a woman who draws no distinction between life and art.

Amazon iTunes

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