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Helvetica AlternativesLove Helvetica, but hate it too? Check out FontShop’s 13 Helvetica alternatives, a list of typefaces that are kinda-sorta like Helvetica, but not quite.

You’ll find familiar classics like Univers as well as more obscure choices like FF Schulbuch and Maxima. For the typophile in all of us, each entry comes with a little historical tidbit. If you’re lazy, here’s the complete list:

Hmmm… I wonder why Arial isn’t on the list. Oh, that’s right. It’s not a real typeface. ;-)

via FontShop


  • David Airey

    gravatarFeb 15, 2007
    7:14 am

    Why do you say that Arial isn’t a real typeface?

  • Chanpory

    gravatarFeb 16, 2007
    12:34 am

    It’s a bit of a nod to Arial’s ill favor among designers, typographers, and type designers. The typeface is generally seen as a cheap knock-off and inferior to Helvetica.

  • Chris

    gravatarAug 17, 2007
    12:20 am

    Arial is a real typeface, just like any other typeface around. It’s just that it’s been abused in the past 10 years thanks in part to Microsoft thrusting it on us all. Trained designers can distinguish the imperfections of Arial easily, but bear in mind that Arial as a screen font renders excellently and serves it’s own purpose just like Helvetica / Frutiger etc does.

  • typophile

    gravatarJan 21, 2008
    3:52 pm

    there is only one real alternative, apparently not from fontshop:

    Akzidenz Grotesk.

  • Stephen

    gravatarSep 23, 2008
    1:51 pm

    Looks like your link to the article is broken. New URL: http://fontfeed.com/archives/helvetica-and-alternatives-to-helvetica/

  • Nelson

    gravatarJun 24, 2010
    10:50 pm

    There isn’t an alternative to Helvetica.

    Helvetica is Helvetica and people know Helvetica before realizing they know. You can’t fool that…