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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? graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/602/… –  Yisela Jan 29 '13 at 3:03
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4 Answers

up vote 20 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 Fonts.com 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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Roboto is a good neo-grotesque sans that can replace Helvetica. Commissioned by Google and released for free. Used as Android's answer to iOS' Helvetica (Neue).

More about Roboto's similarity to Helvetica here. It's slightly more humanised I think. I wouldn't overstate its similarity, but I would say it's a good free alternative.

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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Yeah, has lots of weights too, similar to Helvetica Neue. :-) –  Simon Mar 13 at 7:07
Roboto on Google webfonts here: google.com/fonts#UsePlace:use/Collection:Roboto –  Simon Mar 13 at 7:08
The best thing about Roboto is that it's more like Univers than Helvetica ;) –  plainclothes Apr 16 at 5:16
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These look similar. I hope they'll work for you.


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Thanks! Indeed they look very nice!:D –  drpelz Aug 25 '13 at 18:02
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MgOpen Moderna is pretty close:

enter image description here

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Link is now broken and I can't find an "official" looking link to replace it with. –  thomasrutter Apr 16 at 0:57
@thomasrutter replaced the link with one from freewarefonts.nl. Do you know this site? Not sure how trustworthy it is. –  Yisela Apr 17 at 3:01
All very suspicious to me. Here is that same word in Adobe Helvetica for comparison. Seems dodgy to me. –  thomasrutter Apr 17 at 4:19
smashingmagazine.com/2007/10/19/… there is a link to a greek website here for it. –  BrianC Apr 17 at 15:53
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