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Arial vs Helvetica

So I was working on some documents and was starting to fiddle with fonts when I realized, “Hey! I’m on a Mac now! Helvetica should be accessible to me for the first time ever!” For all you Windows-only people who have never heard of Helvetica, Helvetica was/is the original de-facto standard font, before Arial was created to counter Helvetica’s licensing fees. There’s even a film about Helvetica. From its Wiki:

Versions exist for the following alphabets/scripts: LatinCyrillicHebrewGreek, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Khmer and Vietnamese. Chinese faces have been developed to complement Helvetica.

Helvetica is a popular choice for commercial wordmarks, including those for 3MAT&TJeepLufthansa,American AirlinesMicrosoft, and BMW.

Helvetica is widely used by the U.S. government; for example, federal income tax forms are set in Helvetica, and NASA uses the type on the Space Shuttle orbiter.[1] Helvetica is also used in the United States television rating system. New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority uses Helvetica for many of its subway signs.

Arial is almost exactly the same; it is the pretender to the Helvetica throne. So I’ve been told. Curious to know what the actual differences were, I googled and found the following article:

Wasn’t that interesting?

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One Response to “Arial vs Helvetica”

  1. David says:

    Dude, I’ve lectured to Robert and others about the differences of Arial and Helvetica. Ask Robert. He can attest to that.

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