76

I still think that for web, the best free option out there is Liberation Sans. It renders perfectly with @font-face. 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 ...


51

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 ...


44

If the 5x5 pixel font suggested by Cai and mayersdesign is still too large, you could try the 4x5 pixel font I made a few years ago for a challenge on another SE site. The original version included only the letters A to Z and the . and ! characters, but I just made an actual TTF version of the font (using an online tile-based font editor) that includes all ...


34

The situation has changed since this question was first asked in 2012. There is now an OFL-licensed, completely version of DIN called Alte DIN. This is legal because DIN 1451 is a product of the German government and is so in the public domain, only the individual interpretations of it by various font foundries are protected and copyrighted. Thankfully ...


32

You're going to have trouble with most fonts at that small a size. Some will have better hinting than others and be OK, but you're unlikely to find anything that perfectly works... What you really need is a font designed specifically to work at that size. Bitmap fonts are fonts designed as actual raster images for a specific size; Photoshop has bitmap font ...


28

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


27

One family I've recently noticed is the TT Chocolates and the Extra Light looks pretty close to what you need, but note the '1' in the image below is replaced with an uppercase 'i' (as suggested by Chris H in the comments below).


25

One very nice (if you ask me) option is IBM’s new set of fonts called Plex. The family includes both a sans-serif, a serif, and a monospaced variant, all with excellent distinctiveness (1/I/l and O/0 are easily distinguished and it has both dotted and slashed alternates available for zero), and the entire family is free and open-source.* At the moment, only ...


24

The font 5x5 which is happily free (for personal use), is made specifically for 5px font heights.


22

Some visual clues that will tell your users the O is a letter: If the O has thicker sides than the top and bottom. If the 4 is an old-style numeral that sits below the baseline. If the O is much wider than the number 4. One free font I found that has all 3 is Goudy Bookletter 1911: If that font looks too old-fashioned or unprofessional, you can either ...


21

My suggestion would be to make the number distinct from the letters instead of worrying about the O itself; maybe a different colour or size. Thereby implying that anything else is a letter.


20

You go here: https://developer.apple.com/fonts/ (yes I know this is the official link - thing is: SF is a open type font, its just "hidden" deep in the downloaded package) Then you download the font. Then open the downloaded zip with 7zip. do all the following steps with 7zip: open the folder SFPro open the San Francisco Pro.pkg open the file Payload~ ...


19

Japanese In Japanese, a great candidate for Comic Sans is 創英角ポップ体 sōei kaku poppu tai. This font is extremely informal, is widely used (for example in leaflets in government offices, whatever), comes with Windows, is widely frowned upon (read: "hated"), etc. This is the font and this is what comes up as a suggestion when ...


19

Assuming this is meant for use as a logo, where you have a bit more leeway in tools at your disposal, I'd suggest focusing on contrast between the number character and the letter characters. This could include: different fonts (ie. Helvetica v. Bodoni) different colors different scale different weights (ie. light v. bold) different styles (ie. italics v. ...


17

Taking a look at the Wikipedia entry for Georgia, they mention that it is influenced by Clarendon typefaces. Here's Georgia: Here's URW Clarendon: Update Not knowing your exact purpose, you might also want to consider simply using numbers from a more commonly available similar font. Times New Roman, for example, isn't too different, and mixing the ...


15

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 ...


14

Tex Gyre Adventor is a really nice replacement for both Avant Garde and Century Gothic. Useful if you also target devices that are not a pc or Mac. It's available as a @font-face kit at FontSquirrel: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/TeX-Gyre-Adventor


14

Vernon Adams has a very nice alternative, named Anton: https://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Anton As he said in other page: "see Google's PR for the Chromebook notebooks that used Anton, big and bright".


14

Unfortunately Apple aren't too concerned with Windows users. They expect everyone who is designing for Mac to use a Mac. And since the San Francisco font has been created with specific features only available for Mac it is only available on Mac and unlikely to be available on Windows any time soon (unless someone decides to hack it, which is a possibility). ...


14

Capitals with curves are designed slightly larger than the other letters to counteract an optical illusion, which otherwise would make those letters look too small, even though in reality they wouldn't be. Here is an example. The top image is the original unaltered font. The bottom I have altered to make the top and bottom of the C match the letters A and E ...


13

It's not the same design, but League Gothic is a good free bold grotesque sans that may give you the feel you want.


13

The "web-safe" is a little arcaic concept. It is more likely that your site dissapear before google stop supporting the fonts it has listed. So any alternative to other "google fonts" has no sense. If you want to complement your style use: font-family: "Roboto", Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;


13

Berkelium 1541 is a TrueType conversion of the proportional pixel font used by the GEOS operating system on the Commodore 64 to label files and other icons on the desktop. The text Berkelium 1541 / ISDN E18 scaled up 4 times in that font:


13

You can try some version Bernhard Gothic. This is Extra Light: It's not free and clearly it has different curves than the tube photo. I guess in your application idea the whole presentation with glows and tube frames will be more important than exact curve forms. It should be enough that the glyphs are plausible, technically possible to be and work in a ...


12

Bitstream Charter has three things in common with Georgia: (1) it's about the same size; (2) its upper-case letters are less tall than lower-case ascenders; (3) it was designed by Matthew Carter. But Bitstream Charter has lined (non-descending) numerals. Unfortunately I have no experience with @font-face, so I can't help you with that part of the problem.


12

Google's TrueType fonts Noto Emoji (284.4 KB) and Noto Color Emoji (6.5 MB) are very good.


12

For what it's worth, I found something for chinese that seems to be their equivalent of Comic Sans, at least to their designers. Because as for Comic Sans, people seem to actually love the font and use it everywhere... except designers. The font is called "Young Lady Font" but Google often translate it to "Girls Body" and I've also seen them call another ...


12

I think the best approach is to use the advanced search tool on your web font service. For example, if you're using Google Fonts, you'd search for "Latin Extended" fonts, and use "ā a" as the test text, to confirm that it contains the macron'd a in the font.


11

I have been looking for this also, my findings are: Noteworthy is Filmotype Brooklyn, available at Font Bros (and other font shops) for about $29 http://www.fontbros.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=FILM-BROO Filmotype Alice is a lighter weight: http://www.fontbros.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=FILM-ALIC They ...


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