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Does anybody know a font on Google Fonts that is very similar to Helvetica Neue?

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Specifically which of the type-styles are you looking for? Like Weight? I normally can find close matches (not exact like noted) but only for one weight and style. So if you want to match an italic, there are better fonts than if you want to match black. –  RKS Aug 8 '12 at 20:54

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

That's the thing about Helvetica, there isn't really anything quite like it. We are talking about one of the (if not the) most beautiful font in existence.

You could settle for Open Sans or Source Sans Pro but it won't be the same. But you probably already know that as there are only 121 fonts to choose from.

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thank you very much for the fast reply! yeah, that's also what i have found. i think i'll stick to Arial for this time to offer a good reading experience. –  amannnn Aug 7 '12 at 6:44
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There are lots of fonts very similar to Helvetica, and Arial is extremely similar; unless you really know what you are looking for, only a few of the glyphs are distinguishable by eye; metrics and spacing are the same. Yes, I know why it's considered an impostor. –  e100 Aug 15 '12 at 21:56
    
See also graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/571/… –  e100 Aug 16 '12 at 9:49
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Why is this non-answer the accepted answer? It not only doesn't answer the question, but it's wrong in claiming that nothing else is like Helvetica. Helvetica is one of many humanist sans typefaces, notable examples including Univers and Arial, and it's also not the only one to derive from Akzidenz-Grotesk. –  thomasrutter Sep 2 '13 at 2:47
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I have in fact suggested good equivalents. How is that not answering the question? –  KMSTR Sep 2 '13 at 10:16

Arimo Bold sample

Arimo (see samples above and below) is identical to Liberation Sans (suggested by Yisela) and available from Google Fonts.

The following font stack includes Arimo and suppresses the substitution of Arial for Helvetica on Windows machines and WebKit browsers, but otherwise puts the most Helvetica-Neue-like fonts first:

"Helvetica Neue", HelveticaNeue, TeXGyreHeros, FreeSans, "Nimbus Sans L", "Liberation Sans", Arimo, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

For further explanation, including the advantage of inserting "Microsoft Sans Serif" ahead of "Liberation Sans" for large non-italic headings, see "A multiplatform Helvetica-like font stack that suppresses Arial".

Arimo sample

The choice between Arimo (above) and Roboto (suggested by DavidO) is a matter of taste. Roboto loads slightly faster, but Arimo doesn't need to load at all if Liberation Sans is installed. As both Arimo and Roboto are Google fonts, there's no point in using one as a fallback for the other.

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I just tried the "Roboto" font and it seems OK:

enter image description here

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Hi David, welcome to GD.SE! I added a link and image to your answer. Could you maybe add some more details to it? What do you mean by "OK"? Did you try the browser rendering? –  Yisela May 22 '13 at 22:07
    
Roboto is probably the best equivalent of Helvetica Neue on Google Fonts. It's also very professionally designed, having been commissioned by Google themselves and used in their Android OS as their answer to iOS's Helvetica Neue. –  thomasrutter Sep 2 '13 at 2:53
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Roboto was modified in mid 2014, and the new version found its way to the Google Fonts site on January 14, 2015. The 'R', which formerly resembled that in Helvetica and Univers, is now more Arial-like, while the 'k' and 'K' have become less distinctive. –  Gavin R. Putland Jan 27 at 3:53

It's not in Google fonts (I think), but the .ttf can easily be converted for @font-face. I find Liberation Sans really beautiful. Plus it renders REALLY well in most browsers, and it's free for personal and commercial use:

enter image description here

http://www.dafont.com/liberation-sans.font

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Liberation Sans looks very nice at small pixel size, because is very well hinted, almost to the same level as Arial in terms of displaying well at small sizes with hinting (which Windows heavily relies on, not so much Mac/iOS/Android/Linux). Note that running a font through FontSquirrel's generator throws away all such hinting information and adds auto-hinting instead, so I wouldn't recommend that. –  thomasrutter Jan 31 '13 at 2:59
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That said, despite being Sans-Serif and having matching geometry, Liberation Sans is not "very similar" to Helvetica. But plenty of typefaces are. –  thomasrutter Jan 31 '13 at 3:01

protected by JohnB Aug 1 '13 at 12:51

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