What is the Helvetica® font?
This typeface was initially released as Neue Haas Grotesk, and was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger for the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas Type Foundry) in Switzerland.
The name was changed to Helvetica (an adaptation of Helvetia, the Latin name for Switzerland) by Walter Cunz when D. Stempel AG, a major stockholder in Haas, reworked the design for Linotype GmbH in Frankfurt, a major stockholder in Stempel. The Mergenthaler Linotype Company in New York, then a major stockholder of Linotype GmbH, adopted the design, and it rapidly became the most popular sanserif in the world, replacing Futura.
Helvetica is designed as a strong central series, with condensed and extended forms and extreme weights adapted and added later, a system which suited Linotype mechanical limitations and marketing philosophy, but which resulted in a family of weights that were not as well coordinated as they might have been.
Linotype’s limited licensing forced a large number of unauthorized copies of Helvetica, none of which may be viewed as an improvement.
Helvetica® Font families
The Helvetica® font includes the following font families:
- Helvetica Light
- Helvetica Light Oblique
- Helvetica Regular
- Helvetica Oblique
- Helvetica Bold
- Helvetica Bold Oblique
- Helvetica Black
- Helvetica Black Oblique
- Helvetica Light Condensed
- Helvetica Light Condensed Oblique
- Helvetica Condensed
- Helvetica Condensed Oblique
- Helvetica Bold Condensed
- Helvetica Bold Condensed Oblique
- Helvetica Black Condensed
- Helvetica Black Condensed Oblique
- Helvetica Compressed
- Helvetica Extra Compressed
- Helvetica Ultra Compressed
- Helvetica Inserat Roman
- Helvetica Narrow Roman
- Helvetica Narrow Oblique
- Helvetica Narrow Bold
- Helvetica Narrow Bold Oblique
- Helvetica Rounded Bold
- Helvetica Rounded Bold Oblique
- Helvetica Rounded Black
- Helvetica Rounded Black Oblique
- Helvetica Rounded Bold Condensed
- Helvetica Rounded Bold Condensed Oblique
- Helvetica Textbook Roman
- Helvetica Textbook Oblique
- Helvetica Textbook Bold
- Helvetica Textbook Bold Oblique
Here is a preview of how Helvetica® will look. For more previews using your own text as an example, click here.
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