I am trying to figure out where do all sites that use the 'Helvetica Neue' font get it from. There are certainly too many sites using it for it not to be free. But frankly, there are only two fontsites which have it in their catalog, and it is for sale (and not as a webfont).

Moreover, can you give some examples of webfonts which are similar to this 'Helvetica Neue' and are (mostly) free?

Thank you!

  • does not belong here
  • this is not a programming related question. if you look for web fonts, it's better to look on sites like webfonts.myfonts.com/search-webfonts
  • Examples? It should generally be trivial to figure out from a site's code what web font service it's using.
  • For example, Dribbble, Foursquare and many others. You can view the webfont in Firebug.

Based on the examples you posted in response to my comment above, you're confused.

Dribbble and Foursquare aren't using web font/font-face embedding at all. They're simply specifying Helvetica Neue in their font-family stacks. If a visitor happens to have that font installed on their system, then they'll see it. They quite likely don't, in which case their system will try the next font down, and so on until either something matches or it just ends up using their default for sans-/serif/monospace.

  • I just figured out that the font I was able to view was just plain Arial. It is pretty silly for me not to see this before. Anyway, thanks for your help. Just for my knowledge, why is this font specified in every font stack? Is it so popular? Who has it since it is not free?
  • 1 It's specified because the person who wrote the stylesheet wanted it there. Macs, however, do ship with Helvetica Neue, and since the stack is used in order, they'll get it. Many designers have an irrational hatred of Arial and will do anything they can to avoid its use, where possible. Without asking, it's all speculation. But Dribbble in particular likely has a higher-than-usual Mac user ratio, and so specifiying Helvetica higher in the stack is a fairly safe bet for them.
  • Thank you for your help! Now everything is clear for me.

This question is similar: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3335336/font-replacement-services-for-helvetica-neue I did find a site using Proxima from Typekit for people who didn't have it: http://stevecochrane.com/v3/2007/12/13/helvetica-neue-variants-for-use-on-the-web/

  • Thanks! Although I don't quite like how it renders at small sizes...

If you want a Google web font, the closest match to Helvetica Neue (closer than Arial) is Arimo. For a Helvetica Neue font stack that puts the most Helvetica-like fonts first, includes Arimo, and suppresses the substitution of Arial for Helvetica on Windows systems, see the answer at https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/9054.

This site seems to use Helvetica Neue. We got it as part of our logo that was designed (as that uses the font).

I dont like the font in websites. When text is small, especially bold, the 'c' and 'o' is really not clear at all. In fact I stopped visiting Digg as they have this set as their main font and I really couldn't read it.

  • OK, so I believe it would be better if I stick to the classic Arial...

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