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Does anyone know any other fonts similar to Helvetica Neue (free for commercial use)?

I'm working on a big website project where 'Helvetica Neue' is used heavily. I need a font that looks almost the same, is free for personal and commercial use, and looks good even when used with copytext (e.g. fontsize for copytext = 11px, for headlines = 16px).

Also there should be a condensed-font style included (if possible).

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Have you checked this question?… – Yisela Jan 29 '13 at 3:03

13 Answers 13

up vote 52 down vote accepted

I still think that for web, the best free option out there is Liberation Sans. It renders perfectly with @font-face.

enter image description here

But you can get Helvetica Neue for web from for web use for a fair price too. I would probably use font-family:"Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Liberation Sans, Arial, sans-serif"; so those pcs with the font installed can see it, and those who don't have it can see a replacement.

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Personally I like Open Sans a lot, which is available in many weights and is available on Google Fonts: – Tim S. Apr 27 '14 at 21:31
According to the Wikipedia entry on Liberation fonts, "...documents embedding these fonts do not automatically fall under the GNU GPL, but will still likely cause problems with commercial software." I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that if you use Liberarion fonts in a software product, you may be obligated to apply a GPL license to that product, which may not be what you want. Again, stressing that I'm no expert in licensing, but I had to give up using Liberation on one project because of concerns over licensing. – Questioner May 19 '14 at 5:06
Yes, I've used Liberation Sans and TeXGyreHeros (mentioned in Capiedge's answer). Note that Google's web font "Arimo" is identical to Liberation Sans: – Gavin R. Putland May 25 '14 at 13:04

Roboto is a good neo-grotesque sans that can replace Helvetica. Commissioned by Google and released for free. Used as Android's default font.

Google re-designed Roboto in July 2014. The above sample has now been updated.

More about Roboto's (pre-redesign) similarity to Helvetica here. I wouldn't overstate its similarity, but I would say it's a good free alternative. Since the 2014 redesign, some of its most Helvetica-like aspects have actually been removed.

I also agree with Yisela's recommendation of Liberation Sans, which is also a good font albeit available in fewer weights.

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Roboto on Google webfonts here: – Simon East Mar 13 '14 at 7:08
Note: Google in their infinite wisdom have decided to totally redesign Roboto as of July 2014 - among other things it no longer has the Helvetica-like "R", and other letters like the "g" and "e", "k" and "K" have a different design. As of now the version on Google web fonts is still the old version but that is unlikely to remain the case. – thomasrutter Jul 8 '14 at 23:45
Is a Fudgedicle the non-trademarked version? – Eric Mickelsen Apr 11 at 22:48
Very good question – thomasrutter Apr 12 at 0:37

Tex-Gyre-Heros is for me the best one. Enjoy it!


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That font is actually derived from a URW++ font. It's still mentioned in the copyrights. – Andrew Leach Apr 28 '14 at 16:12
@AndrewLeach what's that mean as far as copyrights are concerned? Haven't heard of that abbreviation before. – Vincent Apr 28 '14 at 16:59
URW++ is a font foundry. This font is a derivative work, and probably unlicensed for free distribution. URW++ fonts are very expensive. – Andrew Leach Apr 28 '14 at 17:35
You can find an abstract of the lincese in this link Reading it, I have not seen any restriction to say that this is a free font. Don't you think? – Capiedge Apr 29 '14 at 17:03
@AndrewLeach it's good to be on the lookout for that, as there are a lot of questionable 'free fonts' out there. That said, FontSquirrel, I feel, is one of the more legitimate sources for free typefaces. Also, URW++ has released or helped release typefaces to Open Source projects. An example is their version of Garamond: – DA01 Jul 23 '14 at 4:32

MgOpen Moderna is pretty close:

enter image description here

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All very suspicious to me. Here is that same word in Adobe Helvetica for comparison. Seems dodgy to me. – thomasrutter Apr 17 '14 at 4:19
1… there is a link to a greek website here for it. – BrianC Apr 17 '14 at 15:53
You can download it as a debian package here:… You can open the package (and embedded tar) using 7zip. – Jeff Johnson Jun 3 '14 at 12:39
It seems to be available only as TTF, or am I wrong? Can a .ttf be loaded by all Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc. browsers? Or will there be some web cases for which it won't work? – Basj Nov 11 '15 at 17:39

For a Helvetica Neue Condensed, you can have a look at the webfont Archivo Narrow:

Archivo Condensed Webfont Google

For the Helvetica Neue Black version, this version of Archivo Black is not bad either:

Archivo Black Webfonts Google

For the other Helvetica Neue like the standard one, other answers have been posted and they're pretty good.

If you want to only stick to the Google WebFonts, Droid Sans, Open Sans and Roboto are not perfect but could work.

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The closest open source licensed font to Helvetica Neue I have found is surprisingly GNU FreeSans. Below is a sample from Inkscape, with FreeSans at the top and Helvetica Neue at the bottom. The glyphs are nearly identical, some are a little closer to original Helvetica. The spacing varies slightly (at least in Inkscape). The biggest difference I can see is FreeMono has ligatures between certain characters, note the 'fl' combination. It is an excellent font and is works well with the GNU font family of FreeSerif and FreeMono. top FreeSans, bottom Helvetica Neue,application inkscape

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Everyone's been giving you names of fonts that look similar to Helvetica (some more than others) but depending on what kind of project it is that you're working on you might not need any of those.

Unless you need something that looks almost exactly like Helvetica, Arial might be an option you should consider. It comes pre-installed in (almost?) every Windows version and also Apple devices. Unfortunately Arial Narrow isn't included in iOS but, since both Helvetica and Helvetica Neue come pre-installed in all Apple devices, you wouldn't have to worry too much about it.

Your font stack could be something like font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; and you'd be covering the most common devices and operating systems (except for Android which I think doesn't come with any of those two font families).

Keep in mind this is far from ideal in most cases but would allow you to avoid licensing costs and reduce the time it takes for your website to load (since it will not be downloading fonts). This will also take some load off you server even though serving fonts isn't such a big deal.

Here's a link to a site with some of the fonts that come pre-installed with different operating systems: And here's another one to a Wikipedia article about the usage share of the different operating systems:

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Hi hack_nug, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Jun 26 at 11:05

The closest I've found so far is "Raleway" on Google Fonts ( I usually use the light 300, 200 or 100. Not exact, but as close as I can find at the the moment.

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For Uppercase, Oswald seems good option available at Google Fonts

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This may not resemble Helvetica that much, but I did find a font called Montserrat which you can download from FontSquirrel.

enter image description here

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If it doesn't resemble it then why would you post it as an answer? – Zach Saucier Apr 9 at 15:22
The person asking the question may find this helpful. – user64338 Apr 9 at 15:24

I found these two fonts that look like the google logo,if anyone is interested.

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Welcome to Graphic Design! Whilst this answer the question, it would be preferable to edit your answer to include images of the fonts, and provide the link for reference. Also your second link is broken. – Luciano Jun 15 at 8:01

found this. hope it helps: FREE HELVETICA NEUE FONT FOR WINDOWS

Helvetica Neue LT Std font family contains 51 font


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As it stands this is an only link answer and could be removed soon. Please add screenshots and explain in own words the advantages of the cited fonts. Welcome to GD.SE! – Kurt Jun 25 at 23:06
Free to download is not the same as free to use commercially. Downloading the font from some dubious free website does not give you a license to use that font. – Cai Jun 26 at 13:18

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