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).

  • 3
    Have you checked this question? graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/602/…
    – Yisela
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 3:03
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    I just use font-family: "Helvetica Neue" It's legal because I'm not serving the font myself; instead the browser is using it from the user's system if it exists.
    – clickbait
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 16:31

12 Answers 12


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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    Personally I like Open Sans a lot, which is available in many weights and is available on Google Fonts: google.com/fonts/specimen/Open+Sans
    – Tim S.
    Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 21:31
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    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
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 5:06
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    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: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/9054/9127 Commented May 25, 2014 at 13:04
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    @Questioner Liberation fonts now use the SIL Open Font License, not the GPL, so that should be a non-issue now. Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 15:29

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: google.com/fonts#UsePlace:use/Collection:Roboto
    – Simon East
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 7:08
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    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. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 23:45
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    Is a Fudgedicle the non-trademarked version? Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:48

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


Tex-Gyre fonts at GUST e-foundry home

Install on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install tex-gyre
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    That font is actually derived from a URW++ font. It's still mentioned in the copyrights. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 16:12
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    URW++ is a font foundry. This font is a derivative work, and probably unlicensed for free distribution. URW++ fonts are very expensive. Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 17:35
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    You can find an abstract of the lincese in this link fontsquirrel.com/license/TeX-Gyre-Heros Reading it, I have not seen any restriction to say that this is a free font. Don't you think?
    – Capiedge
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:03
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    @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: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garamond#URW.2B.2B_Garamond_No._8
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 4:32
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    Specifically, the TEX families were realeased by URW under the GPL tex.stackexchange.com/questions/107877/…
    – spiral
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 15:01

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 FreeSans 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


These look similar. I hope they'll work for you.

TeX Gyre Heros

http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/TeX-Gyre-Heros Tex Gyre Heros


http://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Lato Lato

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    Please make sure to include screenshots on font recommendations.
    – user9447
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 23:52
  • For me the top screenshot is Lato and bottom is I assume the Tex Gyre Heros Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 2:31

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.


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: http://www.cssfontstack.com. And here's another one to a Wikipedia article about the usage share of the different operating systems: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems.

EDIT: This site is great when you wanna check what font would be used in each browser and operating system: http://fontfamily.io/

  • 1
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    – Vincent
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 11:05

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? Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 15:22
  • The person asking the question may find this helpful.
    – user64338
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 15:24

TeX Gyre Heros is the closest free alternative to Helvetica. It's basically a dead-ringer, in my opinion. One potential issue: there are only two weights.

TeX Gyre Heros vs. Helvetica font comparison

If you want a more fully featured free alternative to Helvetica, Inter is top-notch.

Inter vs. Helvetica font comparison

But, like you mentioned, if a condensed weight is necessary, Archivo (and Archivo Narrow) is the way to go!

Here are some more free Helvetica alternatives.


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


For Uppercase, Oswald seems good option available at Google Fonts http://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Oswald

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    Please make sure to include screenshot(s) of the font when recommending it. It provides a comparison for others and a font screenshot will also improve your answer.
    – user9447
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 23:56

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




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