Facebook post 26 Essential Typefaces Recommended by Chris Do or
the Futur's Typography Tutorial on YouTube.
To me, their use of font in general and Helvetica in particular seems excellent so I got interested in Helvetica myself more. With multiple different Helveticas in the top 50 best-selling fonts on MyFonts it didn't take long to get me confused: Helvetica, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica Now, Neue Haas Grotesk — phew! Are they even different? Which one would I want to use?
Let me put my findings on available Helveticas on a date-of-publishing timeline:
1957 Neue Haas Grotesk – the original font
1960 Helvetica — renamed version by Linotype
1982 Arial — custom Helvetica by Monotype for Microsoft
2010 Neue Haas Grotesk (Display/Text) — restoration remake by Linotype
2019 Helvetica Now — remake by Monotype
That's a quite a few. From comparing their looks side by side and researching more I came to these…
When someone says "Helvetica" in 2020 they probably don't mean the original Helvetica from the late 50s; they probably refer to a more recent version.
When someone says "Neue Haas Grotesk" in 2020 they probably don't mean the original font from the late 50s but "Neue Haas Grotesk Display" or "Neue Haas Grotesk Text" released in 2010.
Letters to recognize Helvetica style fonts easily are lower
Gand the rectangle dots seen with
jand full stops.
Different versions of Helvetica can be distinguished by a closer look at lower letters
tand capital letters
The Futur has been using Helvetica Neue precisely back in 2016.
I find recent version of Helvetica to be beautiful; it is obvious to me now why Helvetica has been used so much.
Each of these fonts is rather expensive and their licensing rules do not seem "sane" to me; potentially a topic for another post. I hear that IBM has been spending over a million dollars every year to use Helvetica prior to their move to font IBM Plex — wow! I'll explore other legal free options more before putting this much money into a font for personal use as an individual.
From comparing different Helveticas side by side, Helvetica Now feels the most natural, balanced and beautiful to me by quite a bit.
Monotype's Helvetica Now 2019 marketing seems to ignore Linotype's prior effort with Neue Haas Grotesk Text/Display from 2010 altogether.
There are some resources I found on the way that I consider worth sharing, in particular:
The official user guide for Helvetica Now (PDF)
Some key visual differences between Helvetica and Arial (PNG, Wikipedia)
Typography Manual ed. 2018 by the Futur (PDF)
Article History of Neue Haas Grotesk by Indra Kupferschmid
Fontsc's list of free alternatives to Helvetica Font
That's it; enough Helvetica for me today.
Some people care if software is free of cost or if it has the best features. I don't. I care that I can legally dissect its parts, adjust it to my needs, and share my modifications with the community: run, study, redistribute, improve. That's why I happily avoid macOS, Windows, Skype, Photoshop. I love … free software!
has been released yesterday. This release
fixes a security issue
a heap buffer over-read known as
reported by Joonun Jang
resulting in Denial of Service
—, starts using the
rand_s function on Windows and MinGW (ending the previous
includes non-security bugfixes,
many build system fixes and improvements,
improvements to xmlwf usability,
For more details regarding the latest release, please check out the changelog.
If you maintain Expat packaging or a bundled copy of Expat or a pinned version of Expat somewhere, please update to 2.2.8. Thank you!