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I'm failing to find a replacement for Univers Condensed to use on the Web. I'm using Typekit (portfolio), and right now using LFT Etica Web which is much wider than Univers. I tried Googleing but no luck, so I decided to sign up and ask the pros.

7 Answers 7

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I would consider the google-font "Oswald" It comes only in 3 weights and has no italic or oblique version, but reminds me of the Univers Condensed type. Try changing Oswald 1pt less than Univers, regular -> light and bold -> regular.. Last, change tracking to +50..

That should do the job.. :-)..

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

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  • Thank you introducing me to Oswald. It has some very interesting angles and it has the perfect distribution of weights for what I want. I am going to enjoy my relationship with Oswald - welcome to me collection. Xandro
    – user24103
    May 22, 2014 at 21:15
  • the g letter is so different :(
    – sergiol
    Nov 26, 2017 at 23:57
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Roboto Condensed is a close alternative, and available on Google web fonts

https://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Roboto+Condensed

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The great thing about Univers is that it comes in so many weights and widths. It's a real powerhouse of a typeface.

Very few typefaces come with the range of fonts that Univers does. So there's really no universal 'alternative'.

Now, if you are only using one particular weight of Univers, we could maybe find a font with similar metrics.

All that said, you don't need an alternative. You can license Univers as a web font:

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/univers/buy.html

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  • I'm using the 59 Ultra Condensed and the 57 Condensed for subheaders and input labels, and the 47 Light Condensed for bigger headers, that's a steep price for all those, right?
    – pocesar
    Apr 20, 2013 at 16:32
  • Yes, Univers isn't cheap. But you're not going to find a cohesive matched set of alternatives for all those weights, either. I'd suggest investing in the typeface, or reconsider your type choices and do some rethinking of the design.
    – DA01
    Apr 20, 2013 at 18:07
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It's hard to find good-quality Condensed sans serif fonts as free/libre/Open Source software.

U001CON by URW

Font foundry URW created a 'clone' of the Univers and Univers Condensed design and donated them to the Ghostscript / GhostPDL project as open-source software, under the Aladdin Free Public License.

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If you don't need a look-alike recreation of Univers Condensed, you might consider these alternatives:

Open Sans Condensed

Open Sans, by Steve Matteson. It's considered more "humanist" than the geometrical form of Univers, but may serve a similar purpose for you. As of 2021, there is now a Condensed Regular (on Github, but not on Google Fonts yet).

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Fira Sans Compressed

A very well designed sans serif with about the same width as Univers Condensed, but much more personality. By Erik Spiekermann, Ralph du Carrois, Anja Meiners, Botio Nikoltchev of Carrois Type Design and Patryk Adamczyk of Mozilla.org. Released under the SIL Open Font License.

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Saira Condensed

By Omnibus-Type from Argentina, this font turns up the "square"-ness of Univers Condensed up to 11. It's especially interesting because there are many widths offered, including Semicondensed, Condensed and Extra-Condensed --- similar to the Univers superfamily.

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Some other google font options could be:

Wire one

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BenchNine

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Yanone Kaffeesatz enter image description here

Note that google fonts allows you to filter by width and weight.

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I've been looking for the same answer without pay a cent, so I found this font in typekit trial: https://typekit.com/fonts/nimbus-sans-condensed

I hope you like it.

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Nimbus Sans is as good as a font not named Univers gets. Similar number of font weights, as well.

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  • When recommending a font it's a good practice to also include a link and screenshot of that font. Mar 19, 2019 at 13:56

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