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The Helvetica sample is inconsistent with other font samples on Wikipedia. Brianjd 05:40, 2004 Nov 13 (UTC)

What? The image? Feel free to change it. Chameleon 14:08, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, I created that sample half a year before the other font samples began to appear on Wikipedia. Go ahead and replace it, Brianjd. --Andy M. 19:30, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Arial not based on Helvetica?[edit]

The article sez:

The typeface Arial, distributed with Microsoft Windows, has the same widths as Helvetica but its design is not based on it.

And I laughed so hard, coffee came out of my nose. Saying that Arial isn't based on Helvetica is like saying the Geo Prism isn't based on the Toyota Corrolla. Kindly fix that, or I will when I get around to it.



This article stood for a couple years saying that Arial was based on Helvetica. I'm not sure why we're so hesitant to change it back. I won't say Be Bold, though. --Andy M. 04:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
For a nice comparison see Arial is really almost Helvetica, just a little (experts will probably consider this understatement) uglier. See also the difference image at (Article in German). --Markus Krötzsch 19:47, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Even better: From the article: "Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor." But also: "Arial appears to be a loose adaptation of Monotype's venerable Grotesque series, redrawn to match the proportions and weight of Helvetica. At a glance, it looks like Helvetica, but up close it's different in dozens of seemingly arbitrary ways." I will add the links to the article, but someone else should take time for incorporating this information. --Markus Krötzsch 19:54, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As near as I can tell, Arial is an attempt to remix the already-incestuous Grotesque family by blending the glyph design of Monotype Grotesque (Helvetica's poor relation) with Helvetica, in order to create a good-enough clone that could and did greatly reduce Microsoft's licencing cost. I'm not sure I agree the result came out quite right - the crowded and variable spacing makes Arial much more of a strain to read for me - but it's related to Helvetica in too many ways to pick just one. - toh (talk) 17:32, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Helvetica vs. Arial: Capital G[edit]

Another easy character to distinguish Helvetica and Arial is the capital G; in Helvetica it has a 'tail', while in Arial it doesn't.

For those of you who have all the fonts in question on your computer, the letters below should illustrate the point. They are shown here using the html font tag, with the appropriate faces, and in size +2.



Swiss 721 BT:

Akzidenz Grotesk:

Wulf 03:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Could you post PNGs of the images as not all of us have the fonts installed? Ta 12:59, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Also the Wiki's style sheet will over write inline styles in some browsers, meaning that all three fonts are identical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

More expansion needed[edit]

I've tried to add some stuff, but the article needs to be expanded a lot more. And better sorted. It seems like much of it is devoted to comparison with Arial, but there should be more about what identifies Helvetica itself, in contrast with other san-serif typefaces, both before and after Helvetica was released.

Also something about its historic and cultural role. Some photos of vintage Helvetica designs would be nice.

One more thing which should be emphasized is the diversity of this typeface family. From the lights and thins to the blacks, extended to condensed and compressed, etc. And some of the letter shapes look quite different in these different weights - eg. the compressed "S" has a very different shape from the regular "S" (quit different from if you take a regular Helvetica "S" and asymetrically scale it down).

So yeah - all this and more should be discussed in the article.


I love Paris as much as the next, but please explain the reason for this illustration, other than to demonstrate how tortured digital condensing looks when not used in a non-multiple masters typeface? A better illustration might be various condensed versions of Helvetica Condensed (pre Neue Helvetica) to demonstrate just how much variety the face has, especially in comparison to Univers. I've deleted the Helvetica specimen I designed as the infobox has been restored. CApitol3 13:04, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Quick comparison.[edit]

I've added an image comparing the most noteworthy letter comparisons between the two typefaces, as well as a quick note about the differences. Feel free to expand.

Helvetica included in Windows?[edit]

Hi, I was recently reading this article and I noticed it said that Helvetica is included in Microsoft Windows. I got a new computer with Windows XP Media Center Edition and I was disappointed to see that Helvetica wasn't included anymore. I don't know if this is true for all users, or just my Dell computer. Anyway, thanks for the great articles as always! 02:26, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I will correct that. AFAIK only Adobe Acrobat had Helvetica with it at a certain moment. As Microsoft ships Arial since a long time together with Windows, there is only few chance they would ship Helvetica as well (if they had licensed it ;-)). Doesn't make sense. Maddin42 16:32, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Priorities out of whack[edit]

This article seems to be less about Helvetica and more about Arial, which really only deserves to be mentioned in passing; everything about Arial ought to be moved to the article on that font, as there are much more important things to say about Helvetica than that. Also, the "Usage" section is asinine. The font is far too ubiquitous to mention, for example, that it was used in "the video game logos of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater". A partial list of huge companies using Helvetica as an identity font would probably be fine, along with a link to Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface. 13:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I think two sentences does qualify as a passing mention. Recury 14:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Helvetica usage[edit]

The uses are so numerous, across so many languages any attempt at a list becomes longer than the information about the typeface deisgna nd history. Also several of the users cited no longer use Helvetica. Amtrack once used Helvetica but their current logo (the one you have shown) no longer uses Helvetica. Note the splayed uppercase M which Helvetica does not have. Evian too once used Helvetica but no longer does, the logo shown uses Antique Olive not Helvetica. Olympus' logo is not Helevetica either. All of the logos placed in the article are copyrighted and use in an article other than one they are the subject is a violation of fair use. CApitol3 16:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the Neville Brody quotation as it seems completely arbitrary. Why not the countless other quotes from other people who've used the font? Why Neville Brody? Seems out of place in an encyclopedia article.

It's just an example of what people think about it. It basically serves the same purpose as a section on what literary critics have said about a novel. Recury 21:40, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

I just deleted a line about Angelina's Jolie's tattoo being in Helvetica. Honestly, do we need this? Helvetica and its derivatives are probabl the most ubiquitous typefaces in current use. When the laymen thinks about text, it's probably in Helvetica. When amateur designers think about clean design, Helvetica is an easy choice. We do not, do not need to know each and every place that Helvetica is used. Mostly because it's everywhere. Along with that Arial bloke. -- (talk) 02:56, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Toronto Star reference[edit]

The Toronto Star article has errors in it. Amtrack does not use Helvetica in its identity, neither does Evian. The Olympus logo is not a typeface itself but custom drawn for that application. Lars Müller's Helvetica: homage to a typeface is a great source of who uses it, and who does not.CApitol3 17:00, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Joseph Goebbels[edit]

There's a rumour going around the SciFi community, in connection with the fonts used in George Lucas's Star Wars, alleging that Miedinger based his Helvetica on a font by Joseph Goebbels supposedly called Helvetika. Personally I think it's a bunch of bull, but it should be investigated and addressed in the article.
You can easily find the story on the web, here for example --BjKa 10:48, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I read that story and came here to find out more, was disappointed to find no yae or nae on the matter. I do recall that the Germans banned blackletter sometime during WWII and had to create a bunch of "modern" fonts, but I don't know if Helvetica originated then or not. (talk) 18:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


The URW website lists Hoffmann's first name as Alfred.

"Monotype Helvetica™

Helvetica was designed by Alfred Hoffmann with Max Miedinger in 1957 for the Haas typefoundry of Basel, Switzerland. Helvetica was formerly called Neue Haas Grotesk. Helvetica is inspired by the best nineteenth-century style. The “a” of the Helvetica font has a curved spur and the tail of the “Q” is oblique. The Helvetica font family competed with Univers for international acclaim, as both sans serif faces were issued at almost the same time. Its rational design is suitable for a wide variety of jobs." 15:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

This must be an aberration. Everywhere else his first name is given as Eduard. says: "Eduard Hoffmann was director of the Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei [sic] (Haas Type Foundry) in Münchenstein, Switzerland, in the 1950s. He commissioned Max Miedinger, a former employee and freelance designer, to design an updated sans-serif typeface to compete with the popular sans-serif Akzidenz Grotesk. The result was a typeface called Neue Haas Grotesk, later renamed Helvetica when Stempel and Linotype began marketing the font internationally in 1961." The entry is credited to "DJD"—Daniel Diggle, I presume. Sicherman (talk) 03:03, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

From memory[edit]

The first proportional typefaces I came across (for mini computers but before IBM PC) were "Swiss" and "Roman" I've always assumed that these were copies of Helvetica and Times Roman, assuming Apple held the rights to the genuine versions for electronic use. Canon and Hewlett Packard later made an agreement with Monotype for their new laser printer (LBP-A1 and A2) to supply optional plug in cartridges with either Times New Roman or Arial. These were adopted by Microsoft for Windows. Hence web writers had to code for either Arial or Helvetica to cater for users accessing their pages with PC's or Aplles. Chevin 12:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

OS X uses Lucida[edit]

Unlike written in the article, Apple's OS X uses the typeface "Lucida Grande" as the default for the user interface. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Font file info[edit]

Do we really need "a.fon contains code page ..." in the article? Surely the article is about the typeface/design rather than some company's OTF file containing it. (talk) 00:44, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

New York City subway[edit]

According to [1], Akzidenz-Grotesk was the original font but was eventually replace with Helvetica. — Dispenser 00:52, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Need article on Standard Medium Stikko (talk) 18:15, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Helvetica Scenario[edit]

What about the "Helvetica Scenario" from Look Around You: Calcium? (talk) 00:39, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

YES —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, this should be included --Gausie (talk) 14:21, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Crate & Barrel: Clearly not Helvetica[edit]

Take a look at that round "C". Not Helvetica! I have a feeling some of the other logos mentioned are also not in Helvetica, but Crate and Barrel stood out pretty clearly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:27, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Are we forgetting another font version?[edit]

There is one more version of Helvetica that has not been addressed here. It was very common on 1980s character generators and today it can be seen on some versions of vinyl lettering (two examples). The letters are similar to Helv Neue, but I can tell you that I've seen it on much earlier stuff, as far back as 1969/1970. The proof is in the numbers (and especially the zero), which are much wider than Neue or most other versions. I couldn't find too many examples of this on the web, but the two aforementioned images should help out somewhat. Does anyone know anything about this? -- M (speak/spoken) 13:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

UPDATE: I don't want to say "never mind" to all this, but I did find these two fonts that closely match what I'm looking for. However, they are actually part of the Nimbus Sans family, which mimics very well all the subtle variations in Helvetica available.
Nimbus Sans D Bold
Nimbus Sans P Bold
-- M (speak/spoken) 21:08, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Originally called "Die Neue Haas Grotesk"?[edit]

The Dutch city Utrecht has a huge bronze statue of a European Hare on the town square. The town square is called the Neude, a European Hare is called a Haas in The Netherlands, and grotesk means odd/unnatural in shape/appearence. I can guarantee you that almost everyone living in Utrecht who reads or hears about "Die Neue Haas Grotesk" will think about that huge European Hare on the Neude ([image). -- (talk) 04:12, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Monotype Imaging?[edit]

Under the section "Similar Typefaces", the article refers to a company called "Monotype Imaging", which has a broken link. I assume this means the Monotype Corporation of Arial Typeface fame, but I wasn't sure. Can someone confirm this? -Fogelmatrix 17:08, 17 November 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fogelmatrix (talkcontribs)

Wrong caption, or image is wrong[edit]

The image File:Helvetica_Light.svg linked to under Helvetica#Helvetica Light shows a range of variants, not just Helvetica Light. The caption reads "Helvetica Light". The image really should be renamed and the caption corrected; and the image moved away from the Helvetica Light header to a more generic header. Either that or change the image to represent what it says it represents.--Rfsmit (talk) 23:31, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

New Link to alternatives[edit]

I added my own page because it is independent, non profit and I keep it always up to date. The alternates are explorable with a magnifying glass. Typefacts (talk) 21:55, 21 December 2010 (UTC)


I have removed the section "Bugs." Helvetica is not capable of "bugs;" as a font, it is an arrangement of forms on a surface, not a digital object. There may or may not be bugs in specific digital (in this case, specific Unicode, it would seem) implementations of Helvetica, but even if so, it is extremely doubtful that the bugs are universal across those implementations. I therefore suggest that there is no basis for a "bugs" section in this article whatsoever. If the community disagrees, I strongly recommend that the offending implementations be specifically identified, as to ascribe the bug(s) to Helvetica itself is simply wrong.

I also note that as of deletion, there was still no reference for the section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 14 April 2011 (UTC)


I am interested in reading about the different weights of Helvetica, how they came to be, where they're used, why they are named or numbered as they are. However there is no paragraph or references for weights. 85 Heavy for example, is shown in the example pictured, but not mentioned at all in the article text. Can anybody enhance the article with a weighty section? Davemc50 (talkcontribs) 09:30, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

That's your problem, we're not interested, but let me tell you: Johnny loves Helvetica, because the Hodja uses a pipe! Bah? - (talk) 18:40, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Visual distinctive characteristics[edit]

I have removed this unreferenced section, as it did contained no information about the subject (grotesques generally have two-storey 'a's and square tittles (and punctuation), what was meant by "dropped horizontal element on A" is unclear.) Devanatha (talk) 22:43, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Helvetica is and will be one of the best typefaces in the world[edit]

Actually, no font can ever beat Helvetica. Whether people know or not that this typeface is called Helvetica, most people are attracted to it! I think this should be mentioned - (talk) 18:36, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Sources for examples in the "Usage" section?[edit]

In the Usage section, several items are unsourced. It may be obvious to some that these are examples of Helvetica, but can we add a source instead of just putting in examples? -Paul2520 (talk) 01:46, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Missing key information[edit]

The reason that Microsoft included line in Windows 3.x configuration file, "Arial=Helvetica", was due to some high profile copyright infringement cases where publishers used Helvetica without paying royalties. I think that that is an important omission and helps frame the "Arial arguement". Shjacks45 (talk) 04:22, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold is used in Adult Swim's logos and bumpers. Should it be noted? WHNE-LDfan (talk) 22:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

@WHNE-LDfan: - I have to say it might be best to leave it unless you have a source specifically mentioning that that's what they use (say FontsInUse or their blog). While examples like this are nice, Helvetica is one of the most common fonts of all time - we can't list every company that uses it for something, sorry. Blythwood (talk) 23:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Helvetica. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 18:42, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

"Dotum" in clone section[edit]

The Dotum font provided with modern MS Windows versions may be added in the "Clone" section. It's almost identical to Helvetica. I found differences in '1', 'g' and 'ß'. Best regards, IP (talk) 13:39, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Thanks. Many fonts with a primarily non-Latin character set have Latin-alphabet glyphs that resemble Helvetica, since it's such a popular design, so this is quite common. Might add something about that, actually. Blythwood (talk) 11:40, 9 July 2016 (UTC)