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Top 5 Netflix Documentaries Designers Must Watch

As a designer, you’re always looking for your next inspiration. And what better way to do so than learning from infamous designers’ works on OTT platforms? However, it has become increasingly difficult today to find the ‘right’ show or documentary to watch on Netflix. Thankfully, that’s where this blog comes in. We’re here to streamline the process. Let’s look at 5 documentaries that’s bound to give you creative juice for your next project:

1. Abstract: The Art of Design

The documentary series follows the work of designers in every field – architecture, interior, graphic, photography and so on. From its very first episode, Abstract: The Art of Design remarkably captures the essence of design. Each episode is dedicated to a designer who takes us through their thought process, muse and their creative process in its entirety. With 2 seasons and 14 episodes in total, and an average duration of 45 minutes, this series tops our list. We highly recommend Season 1 Episode 6 – Paula Scher takes you on a trip down the memory lane and also explains the story behind the Citibank logo.

2. Finding Vivian Maier

This is a documentary film based on the life of a regular housekeeper Vivian Maier, who was later recognised as one of America’s best street photographers. Vivian worked as a nanny to various Chicago families; always with a camera by her side. She managed to take over 100,000 photographs which were found after her death, hidden in lockers. This is a must-watch for the sheer element of talent – see how Vivian found a way to make her life less monotonous with spectacular results.

3. Hotel Grand Budapest

Wes Anderson films are truly every designer’s dream. His films are characterised by creating a whole other world, and this one sports a pink, Pepto-Bismol look with startling decor. Every element and prop in Wes Anderson’s films are first designed and then brought to life. Annie Atkins, the film’s graphic designer, revealed how the art team was moved to a remote area in Germany during shooting to keep them in the vicinity of the set and actors.

4. Helvetica

A documentary that gives real-world insight into typeface and graphic designers. It features a series of interviews with designers alike that describe the importance of typeface, the creative process behind it and how it has impacted the world – be it street signs or logos – the font has made its way into the world of design and advertising through communication. Interviews with the likes of Matthew Carter, Massimo Vignelli, and Wim Crouwel showcase how there is a deep rooted connection between font and content. A deep dive into the rich history of the infamous typeface makes this one a winner.

5. Floyd Norman – An Animated life

This documentary is a tribute to the legendary Floyd Norman, the first ever black animator to be hired by Disney. Floyd, at 80, takes us through his life, with snippets from his friends and colleagues who describe his creative process. A life filled with humour and humility, this documentary will allow you to geek out on epic designs and animations, as seen in Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmations and many more.
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