I know there are some alternatives for Helvetica Neue for web usage, but i want to ask, if it is legal to use Helvetica Neue on some commercial website.

  • Are you hosting HelveticaNeue on your server if not I think it is legal to use CSS declaration: font-family: "HelveticaNeue-Light", "Helvetica Neue Light", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, "Lucida Grande", sans-serif; – Igor-G Apr 15 '14 at 16:14
  • Really? But i need it multiplatform, so it needs to be like @font-face. – JohanCutych Apr 16 '14 at 16:38
  • Helvetica Neue is on all Apple devices, Windows uses Arial, that was created from Helvetica – Igor-G Apr 17 '14 at 8:10
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This font is commercial property and is not allowed to use without proper licensing for usage.

Linotype licensing

  • Is this right even with CSS declaration like: font-family: "HelveticaNeue-Light", "Helvetica Neue Light", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, "Lucida Grande", sans-serif; – Igor-G Apr 15 '14 at 16:09
  • 6
    @Igor-G by declaring this you don't actually use the font - the end user does, so if the end used has no such font it will be substituted by other. If you place a picture using this font - it is actual usage and you should read the company policy about such usage. – Ilan Apr 15 '14 at 16:15
  • the question didn't specify if they are hosting it themselves or not... need to clarify. I've asked – Igor-G Apr 15 '14 at 16:16
  • 2
    to embed font to site you need license for sure – Ilan Apr 15 '14 at 16:17

It's legal to ask the browser to use Helvetica Neue if it's available on the system, but you'd need a license if you want to serve the font yourself. One option is to use Helvetica Neue if it's system-installed and fall back to some other sans-serif font like Arial if it's not.

You may consider alternatives to the Helvetica Neue, like the ones listed here http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/5-google-web-font-alternatives-helvetica-arial.html

  • Among the Google web fonts, the closest match to Helvetica Neue (closer than Arial) is Arimo. For a Helvetica-Neue-based font stack that puts the most Helvetica-like fonts first, includes Arimo, and suppresses the substitution of Arial for Helvetica on Windows systems, see graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/9054. – Gavin R. Putland Jan 27 '15 at 2:38

To clarify, there are two different licenses: desktop and web.

If you have the font on your desktop (legally) you can create graphics for your site with it. You can even specify it in your CSS with fall backs so that it displays for those who also have it on their desktop but degrades gracefully for those who don't.

When you choose to embed the font on your site so everyone can see it with @font-face you'll need the additional licensing complexity for the web.

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