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I am currently working on a logo (word mark) for a client. I compared different sans serif fonts and narrowed it down to Helvetica, Neue Helvetica and Neue Haas Unica.

Although the client is a startup, they want to look experienced. So even though Neue Helvetica is used in a lot of brands, I think the client is better of with a familiar look than with an experimental appearance.

Now for the running text on the website, I want to use a Google-Font for faster performance. I think that for mobile devices a sans serif would be best. Open Sans or PT Sans look both very similar to Helvetica. Is that good or bad, if they look similar?

Do you think they work together, or which combination works best?

Have a look:

http://www.identifont.com/differences?first=Helvetica+Neue&second=Open+Sans&q=Go

http://www.identifont.com/differences?first=Helvetica+Neue&second=PT+Sans&q=Go

http://www.identifont.com/differences?first=Neue+Haas+Unica&second=open+Sans&q=Go

http://www.identifont.com/differences?first=Neue+Haas+Unica&second=PT+Sans&q=Go

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  • I think this is very much an opinion based question, and not something that can be answered factually. I personally wouldn't use Helvetica for a word mark/logo. Although Helvetica is a nicely designed font, I find it too boring and plain IMHO, and it's now totally over used (like its cousin Arial). Also I don't necessarily think things like logos/word marks should match with the rest of the text in a document or website. In my opinion, more contrast between the two would be desirable. But that's just my opinion. Feel free to ignore it. – Billy Kerr Apr 5 at 12:08
  • Frame challenge: Open Sans or PT Sans do not look anything like Helvetica. However, as body text they may not be different enough from the wordmark and will simply jar when used together. – Andrew Leach Apr 6 at 10:28
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This is very much an opinion question. My answer is that it should be OK: both are popular. Although traditionally people advised against pairing two different sans-serifs, in the web age people are used to a sans for body text. The old print design "use a sans for heading, serif for text" thinking is outdated now.

My one concern would be that Open Sans is a free font and everyone uses it. It can create a cheap vibe of "we can't afford to pay for a premium font". I don't know your budget or how much a premium impression matters to you, and I know we all gotta eat, but you might prefer something like Covik Sans or Freight Sans.

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