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The Brand Guidelines have specified the use of Gotham and Arial as the typeface, and I can see that in the past people have had various experiences with using Gotham on the web.

Instead of using Arial, which I feel is not really a good alternative to Gotham because it doesn't have the polished finish, it seems like Proxima Nova is one of the best options, but I might not have considered other options.

My comparisons:

  • Gotham vs. Proxima Nova (capital M and the number 3 are most different)
  • Gotham vs. Proxima Sans (capital M and the number 3 are most different)
  • Proxima Nova is nearly identical to Proxima Sans
  • Gotham vs. Arimo (captial Q, M and the number 1, 3 are most different0
  • Gotham vs. Montserrat (captial Q, M and the number 1 are the most different)

I would conclude that Proxima Sans and Montserrat could be suitable replacements, with Montserrat being a Google Font which should be web safe.

What are some popular webfonts that have an open license and can be used as an alternative to Gotham?

  • 1
    What exactly do you mean when you say "web-safe?" Traditionally web safe fonts were those that existed on almost all devices (ie. Arial) which could be used as an alternative to the default (usually Times). Nowadays, you should be able to use any font with @font-face without worrying about whether or not it's on the user's computer. Are you trying to ask about fonts that can be licensed for website use? – user13497 Jul 9 '14 at 2:49
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    Well those are two different things, you shouldn't mix them up. Very few fonts exist near-universally. For example on my computer (OSX Mavericks), none of the fonts you mentioned are installed by default so none of them would show up correctly. The only real web-safe fonts are Arial, Impact, Courier, Comic Sans and maybe a few more. For anything else (like those you mentioned), you need to use @font-face in your CSS as they are not "web-safe." – user13497 Jul 9 '14 at 3:04
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    It makes sense now :) For free-to-use fonts, the best collection online is provided by Google: google.com/fonts . You can use those commercially without paying any royalties. Some font experts might say they are not as good as what you pay for but I have seen some real gems in there. When you choose your fonts, be sure to set them up properly in CSS so they display everywhere. The current best-practice is defined here: css-tricks.com/snippets/css/using-font-face . For a great paid collection see typekit.com . Sorry, I don't have any advice on specific fonts to use. – user13497 Jul 9 '14 at 3:42
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    The Brand Guidelines should spec the alternatives you should use. If they do not, you need to go yell at the brand managers to fix it. – DA01 Jul 9 '14 at 3:45
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    @MichaelLai your company needs to hire brand managers that have heard of the internet. :) – DA01 Jul 9 '14 at 4:23
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If you are going to go down any subscription route then I would recommend cloud.typography because you can legally license Gotham for web use see here. Montserrat is the closest Google font.

Gotham through the typography service is optimized for web and produces a solid rendered output.

While not free, Aaux Next is an extensive font you can license without a subscription but is also available through Typekit.

-3

Avenir is a wonderful alternative to Gotham in my experience.

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