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Is there a free 'Helvetica Neue' alternative?


Question

Does anyone know any other fonts similar to Helvetica Neue (free for commercial use)?

I'm working on a big website project where 'Helvetica Neue' is used heavily. I need a font that looks almost the same, is free for personal and commercial use, and looks good even when used with copytext (e.g. fontsize for copytext = 11px, for headlines = 16px).

Also there should be a condensed-font style included (if possible).

2014/05/27
1
96
5/27/2014 7:39:00 PM

Accepted Answer

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

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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 those who don't have it can see a replacement.

2013/01/29
76
1/29/2013 3:52:00 AM

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 free alternative. Since the 2014 redesign, some of its most Helvetica-like aspects have actually been removed.

I also agree with Yisela's recommendation of Liberation Sans, which is also a good font albeit available in fewer weights.

2015/12/04