19 documentaries for designers


19 documentaries for designers

Design documentaries are the best way to expand your professional horizons in an easy and fun way, as well as get inspired by watching real people work in the field of design.

The selection includes films covering a wide range of topics: from artists of ancient civilizations to modern industrial design.

BBC: The Genius of Design

“The Genius of Design” (BBC: The Genius of Design) is a project dedicated to those who, in modern conditions, are engaged in the improvement of products for various purposes, achieving harmony of content and form.



BBC: How art created the world

A detailed documentary film about the history of art and, in particular, primitive art and the first anonymous artists of ancient civilizations. During five episodes of this film, the historian Nigel Spivey manages to visit the most remote corners of the world, where the peoples of the great ancient empires once lived.

Inside the Pantone color factory

Designers and artists around the world use Pantone color palettes on a daily basis to help make their chosen cyan color truly blue. Get behind the scenes of paint and palette production at the Pantone factory.

Faber-Castell pencil production

Film about the production of pencils by Faber-Castell at a factory in Germany.

Why man creates

Why Man Creates is a short animated documentary about the nature of creativity. The film won an Oscar.


Helvetica is a film about typography, graphic design and visual culture in general. Through the lens of the proliferation of a single typeface that turned 50 in 2007, the film explores the broader question of how type affects our lives.


Incarnation is an independent feature-length documentary directed by Gary Hustwith that explores our difficult relationship with mass-produced objects and, as a result, with the people who designed them. This film is a look at the creative side of designing things, from toothbrushes to electronic devices.

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

The film explores the breadth of creativity of Milton Glazer, an eminent designer who, for many, personifies American graphic design. From newspaper and magazine design to interior design, logos and identity, famous prints, drawings, posters and paintings – the film covers the entire sphere of the great designer’s work.


The digital revolution in art in the past decade has brought creative possibilities to an unprecedented scale. Where will such a trend lead – to an improvement in the quality of film, music and literature, to a new level of true talent, or to a digital ocean of mediocre mass culture?

The Universe of Keith Haring

Kristina Klausen’s documentary “Keith Haring’s Universe” is a vivid archival footage, the memories of his friends, colleagues and art fans, including Kenny Scharf, Yoko Ono and Tony Shafrazi.

Sign painters

The film is about signs. We see them every day, but often we do not pay any attention to them. Time-tested, hand-drawn signs are the product of a gripping 150 years of American history. Once it was an ordinary job, but now the work of an artist who paints signs has become highly specialized, requiring unique skills combined with technological complexities.

Beautiful losers

Beautiful Losers is a film about young artists and designers who, although far from the world of traditional art, nevertheless influence it.


“Urbanized” is a documentary film about the problems and directions of urban development, about what makes some cities better than others.

Bauhaus: The Face of the 20th Century

The Bauhaus: The Face of the 20th Century, the film tells the story of the Bauhaus School of Architecture and Design, founded in Weimair in 1919, one of the most impressive educational movements in 20th century art. She has greatly influenced contemporary architecture, painting, sculpture, design and theater.

Food design

“Food Design” – the film tells about people working on the design of dishes and products. Every day, an army of thousands of specialists is working to ensure that food is tasty, smells good and looks cute and attractive.

Future by Design

Projected Future tells the story of a fundamentally new quality of life and a far-reaching vision of Jacques Fresco, a man whom many regard as the Leonardo da Vinci of our time. A contemporary of Albert Einstein and Buckmister Fuller, Jacques, a self-taught and futurist, often refers to himself as a “generalist” or multidisciplinary scientist involved in many interrelated fields of science.

The Art of Punk: Black Flag

A film about the legendary logo of the Black Flag group, which has become a symbol of punk culture.

The Modern Russian Design

“Contemporary Russian Design” is a documentary film dedicated to the last twenty years of design development in Russia. Includes special projects on graphic design, fashion design and industrial design.

Zeitgeist: Addendum

A documentary by Peter Joseph, a sequel to The Spirit of the Times. The film tells about the principle of functioning of the US Federal Reserve, about the American system of creating money, about the cooperation of transnational corporations with the CIA, analyzes the reasons for the corruption of society.

Based on an article from the tilda blog.

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