Web-safe alternative to Univers?


My company uses the Univers font as its official typeface and I'm looking for a good Web-safe alternative. The options are limited, but typefaces are really my weak point and I can't tell which ones are more like it.


enter image description here

To me Arial looks like my best bet, but there may be subtle differences I'm not seeing. However, using a Web-Font is not an option. I am looking for the most similar base font.

These are the only options:

Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
"Arial Black", Gadget, sans-serif
"Comic Sans MS", cursive, sans-serif
Impact, Charcoal, sans-serif
"Lucida Sans Unicode", "Lucida Grande", sans-serif
Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif
"Trebuchet MS", Helvetica, sans-serif
Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif
6/27/2014 3:29:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Basically what Baka said in comments, and you acknowledged in your edit. If you can't use web-fonts then the default is sans-serif which will probably be Arial or Helvetica for most of your browsers. You could try using Verdana at the top of the stack.

font-family: 'Verdana', sans-serif;

But its pretty negligible at that point. Helvetica is actually closer to Univers so default for a lot of Mac users would be better than Verdana.

6/27/2014 3:24:00 PM

As mentioned in the comments, "web-safe" isn't quite what it used to be. The best way to be "web-safe" is to use a web font.

If cost is a barrier, there are many quality free choices.

If hosting yourself is a barrier, then you can use Google's services to do it for you for free.

If using an external service is a barrier, then you can download free fonts and host yourself.

Browser compatibility is not a barrier. IE 4+

If I was able to convince you...

Univers is pretty close to Helvetica, and I prefer Roboto as the webfont of choice to replace Helvetica-esque fonts (that's what it was made for! See a comparision):

Roboto screenshot

It was made for the screen and has a robust set of weights.

For further reference:

Helvetica Neue Equivalent on Google Fonts?

Is there a free 'Helvetica Neue' alternative?