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I'm in love with Neue Helvetica… please help.

  • # August 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Is this real life?

    Not sure why this “type” of question deserves such a sarcastic remark. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems as if you’re taking a jab at Helvetica and attempting to downplay its use.

    Here are some good examples of Helvetica (and arial)

    http://learnthesecrethandshake.com

    http://platform.org

    http://www.bureau-va.com/#/about-bureau/

    Cheers

    # August 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I love this forum :)

    # August 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Here are some good examples of Helvetica (and arial)

    To whom? It’s already been proven that Helvetica is a poor font for the screen.

    __
    # August 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I love this forum :)

    :)

    # August 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    It’s all down to personal preference. If you care for the mass whom may be visually impaired, you’d understand why Helvetica is your last resort. If you don’t understand typography and only care for yourself because “It works for you” then use Helvetica. No one is stopping you. It looks fine to you, right?

    # August 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Besides that, James, it just looks horrible on screen.

    # August 22, 2013 at 4:56 am

    it just looks horrible on screen.

    @chrisburton A font cannot “look horrible on screen”. A font can look horrible on some screens but not others. If Helvetica looked bad on all screens, it wouldn’t be one of the most popular fonts in the world.

    # August 22, 2013 at 8:06 am

    It’s already been proven that Helvetica is a poor font for the screen.

    Screen is not the issue. It’s the use of Helvetica at small sizes that hinder its legibility and readability. The same issues are evident with printed material as well.

    The increasing popularity of wide screen and hi-def monitors have pushed designers to re-evaluate type sizes used for body copy. It’s quite common to see body copy set at 16+ pixels to accomidate the additional canvas space for layout—not to mention it makes for a better reading experience. Furthermore, hi-def screens provide a cleaner render, which ultimately enhance the overall legibility and precision of type (and images).

    With that said, the typical negatives often associated with helvetica tend to lose credibility. By understanding the shortcomings and knowing how to properly set it, one should be fine using it on screen.

    EDIT: Now if we’re talking about branding…that’s a whole new bag-o-beans. Helvetica often gets a bad rep for being ubiquitous. It is…no doubt about that…which is why its use for brand and identity design requires tremendous skill to pull off. Considering type is one of the primary identifying factors of a brand…using helvetica is generally not a favorable approach.

    Ed
    # August 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I don’t think this is feisable without spending lots and lots of money.

    As someone else already said it’s already on almost all Mac’s. For everyone else, you could try a font from here: https://typekit.com/lists/alternatives-to-helvetica

    # September 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    My apologies for the delayed reply here. Been incredibly, incredibly busy with college.

    In reply to Josh Johnson and “R”:

    You’re absolutely correct. Helvetica CAN look better on some screens. However, it has been proven to be horrible for readability and legibility at small sizes on the web (which I’ve pointed out previously and “R” reiterated ). Helvetica was initially made for print and even so, I think it has certainly lost its taste and character being ubiquitous as it is. Print and web fonts are quite different. You should take a look at how Font Bureau takes their print library and redesigns them for the web:

    http://www.fontbureau.com/ReadingEdge

    The point of having a website is to engage our audience. We want them to be at ease when reading and unfortunately Helvetica was not designed for this.

    # September 27, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Is this real life?

    Wondering why this “type” of question deserves such a sarcastic remark. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your intention…but it seems as if you’re attempting to downplay the use of Helvetica.

    Some good examples of Helvetica (and Arial) on screen…

    The Secret Handshake

    Platform.org

    Bureau for Visual Affairs

    __
    # September 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Wondering why this type of question deserves such a sarcastic remark …

    @R we heard you the first time. If you’re really anxious for an answer, I will say that – while I can’t speak for the author – I don’t think the sarcasm in this remark was directed specifically at the font (heaven forbid), but rather at the conversation in general. Further, I did not interpret it as derogatory, but as good-natured teasing. It’s clear that Joe_Temp started this thread with a pretty lighthearted tone.

    It’s the use of Helvetica at small sizes that hinder its legibility

    Agreed. True of many fonts.

    If Helvetica looked bad on all screens, it wouldn’t be one of the most popular fonts in the world.

    @JoshJohnson so, you’re saying that, back in 1957 (or even the mid-60s, when it became popular internationally), they already knew how Helvetica would render on various computer screens?

    Helvetica is popular in the web world because it was already popular in the design world. That, and Apple.

    # September 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    When someone uses shitty font!

    # September 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    We want them to be at ease when reading and unfortunately Helvetica was not designed for this.

    While I agree with you for the most part, @chrisburton, I think that comment is misleading. If Helvetica is difficult to read at small font sizes then I’d say the solution isn’t to find a different typeface, it’s to make sure your using Helvetica properly.

    # September 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    @R

    Some good examples of Helvetica (and Arial) on screen…

    I can’t disagree with Arial even if it is a poor copy of Helvetica. It was specifically designed for the screen but in my opinion, not my cup of tea. However, your argument for Helvetica is not strong. While it may be “good” for you does not hold true for everyone (especially those with disabilities). You may want to read the statistical facts presented via the link that was posted. Now, no one is stopping you from using it but there are far better alternatives.

    @TheDoc

    Yeah, in print.

    To the rest, I’ll leave it here with a quote from Stephen Coles:

    “Some typefaces are simply not optimal for reading at small sizes, regardless of render quality or substrate. It has to do with weight, spacing, openness of letterforms, and most importantly rhythm. Neue Helvetica is known for its strict uniformity. This makes it appealing for big, graphic stuff like headlines, posters, and logos, but does not make it a great text or UI face.”

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