Helvetica and Alternatives to Helvetica

"Helvetica is a classic. Helvetica is played out. Each of these statements is true to an extent. The world\'s most recognizable typeface will soon star in a new film that documents both its omnipresence and its timelessness.

There are many reasons why Helvetica is so widespread. The most obvious being that a few weights have been bundled with the Mac OS for years. It is arguably the most respectable of the “default” fonts. But it\'s also used because it\'s a safe, neutral choice. For many purposes, typography is more about content than style. Fans of Beatrice Warde will tell you that typographers should communicate without distraction. Helvetica, with its simple, unadorned forms, is the perfect crystal goblet. Even its ubiquity contributes to its neutrality — letters so common they become invisible.

But invisibility isn\'t always appropriate, particularly in advertising or branding where individuality is key. Here we recommend our favorite fonts from the grotesque genre that offer something different from Helvetica (or Arial) — whether it\'s style, warmth, or extra features like small caps, figure alternates, and additional widths." (Thanks On Paper Wings!)

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