Helvetica. Where Did it Come From? And What to Use Instead? [Free Fonts Included]
Since 1957 when the Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger created Helvetica, newspapers, magazines, and websites are using Helvetica as their primary font. Originally it was called Neue Haas Grotesk.
This information may sound a bit strange but…creators of Helvetica were at a loss when they found out that their brainchild (that graced airport terminals and store signs, actually it was everywhere), is bad for remembering.
American researchers found that the same text printed with Serif font is better remembered that the same text printed with Sans Serif font. And what happens now? Designers in cooperation with researchers are trying to create a universal international font to replace all signs and ads, so long flaunted by Helvetica…
Soon after Helvetica was released it has become the dominant type for many supporters of international typographic style, also known as The Swiss style. Nowadays Switzerland is known not only for its banks, neutralism and watches that never break, but also for the font that cultivates clarity, accuracy and objectivity that is Helvetica.
Originally this font had only one look with just a few direct tracings. Then it gradually began to grow, including options with different saturation: narrow, wide, and inclined. There have also been developed decorative option, outline typeface with double loop, 3D, shaded and with rounded ends of the strokes.
With introduction of computer publishing Helvetica become a familiar name for each owner of a computer, because the font, along with the Times, is built into most operating systems, word processing and page layout programs, from the most basic to the professional graphics package. Or simply because lots of people have typographic posters with Helvetica. Helvetica continues to be widely used in web design and advertising.
If Not Helvetiсa, Than What? Free Alternatives Maybe…
How do you think, how many fonts are there? Probably millions, but not all of them are decent looking. With the raise of flat design Sans Serif fonts are used most frequently. Even if you are so much in love with Helvetica there are hundreds of fonts that will easily replace the Swiss Style. Further we’d like to share with you 20 Sans Serif free fonts that are best alternatives to helvetica. Have a look at them.
Also in the end of the post you can download them all in one archive.
SPEAK UP! Be so kind to share your experience with Helvetica. If you design layouts or you’re engaged with customization how ofted are you using this font? Or if you’re an opponent of Helvetica which font faces are you using instead?