I would like to properly license a Helvetica Neue font to use on a website. However, I can't figure out who owns the font, or who to buy it from, and whether the people selling the font online are its legit owners. Does anyone know how this font is sold (is it legally being sold by multiple vendors?) and who to buy it from?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Commercial use of Helvetica Neue for web? – Tetsujin Dec 21 '18 at 18:52
  • The trick might be that there is no, efficient, way for you to verify this. ou need to have some amount of trust in society and systems. – joojaa Dec 28 '18 at 7:36
  • @joojaa I don’t know what what to say to that. Is that a serious response? This isn’t about faith or trust. This isn’t about an interpersonal relationship. This isn’t religion. This is business. I want to pay the rightful owner of this font so that I can rightfully use this font. Nothing more, nothing less. – Dmitry Minkovsky Dec 28 '18 at 17:10
  • @DmitryMinkovsky It is a real answer. There is really no infrastructure in place where I can validate that what i buy is the legally correct owner of the digital property. There is no global registration office that can verify ownership. You can just minimize risk but you can not really know. Hell, until the ownership is validated in court then even the original owner isn't really sure. – joojaa Dec 28 '18 at 17:16
  • @joojaa I understand that’s the case sometimes with intellectual property but this isn’t some obscure thing. This is one of the most popular fonts in the world. You’d think the owner would be identifiable. I’m not paying some random .com fonts site just because they have an add to cart button. You know what I mean? Why would I do that? Just because a font site has good SEO doesn’t mean they are licensed resellers of the font I want to buy. – Dmitry Minkovsky Dec 28 '18 at 17:20

Your question is tricky, because even the bad people will put "guaranteed not stolen" on their website. If you carefully edit your question, so that you are not accusing, you could show us a link of the vendor(s) you have questions about - and the community shall have trust or no trust for you.

Here is my personal way of "knowing":

Please go to an established and trusted vendor. For example I take some of my very humble budget to myfonts (not affiliated in any way):


"Helvetica Neue" is just another way to say "Neue Helvetica" which would be its real Swiss Name. Putting the adjective behind makes this typeface show up next to "Helvetica" in catalogs and online-shops. Read the blurb on myfonts about the history of this typeface and its several reworks.

If you still hesitate to trust Linotype, read on here: https://www.myfonts.com/foundry/Linotype/

And here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mergenthaler_Linotype_Company

And then here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica#Neue_Helvetica_(1983)

  • Hi Martin, thanks for your answer. I found myfonts.com and others selling this font. These vendors don’t look fake or anything, but there are multiple vendors selling this font online and as you point out, the font was originally developed by Linotype. So how do I know these vendors are legitimately licensed to sell this font? How do I know they agreed with Linotype (or whoever owns the font these days) to sell it – Dmitry Minkovsky Dec 28 '18 at 2:34
  • Like, what makes myfonts.com “reputable”? – Dmitry Minkovsky Dec 28 '18 at 2:35
  • Are you sure that this still belongs to a Design forum? Go to icis.corp.delaware.gov/Ecorp/EntitySearch/NameSearch.aspx and type the file number for Monotype (3088431) and see that they exist for some 19 years, which is an enternity for computer-assets-vendors. MyFonts is active for almost 18 years and is owned by Monotype since 2012 I believe. If they would sell illegal stuff, there would be lawsuits and cash would flow. Big Companies with established brands have lots to loose, so why would they steal 35$ and sell a font they do not represent or own?? Why do you trust Stackexchange? – Martin Zaske Dec 28 '18 at 19:45
  • @DmitryMinkovsky Linotype was bought (or fancy speak aquired) by Monotype years ago. And not for their nice furniture. So if A designs a typeface H and B grabs A, then B probably now owns H. This is all just a few searches away, for example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mergenthaler_Linotype_Company#History Why do you not just write to myfonts and ask them how they own Neue Helvetica. They might be nice and send you same scanned contract (with lots of black barred money details). If you learn more, please report back to here. Guys, let us go back to making nice documents. I am done here. – Martin Zaske Dec 28 '18 at 19:52

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