What Fonts Look Like Helvetica?

Alternatives to Helvetica
Some alternatives to some of the Helvetica family of fonts. | All the FAQs: Career & Business | Software | Design & Layout | Graphics | Type & Fonts | Prepress & Printing. © Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com

Yes, Arial and Swiss are well-known alternatives to Helvetica. There are many others as well. Some are better matches than others but still provide the look even with differences.

Fonts that look like Helvetica, but aren't may already be lurking in your font collection but without a name to go by it can be difficult to sift through a large font collection. Below you'll find some free downloads and a big list of mostly commercial fonts that can stand in for this classic sans serif.

After my list, there are pointers to more lists.

Free Downloads of Almost-But-Not-Quite Helvetica Fonts

  • Coolvetica by Ray Larabie. It's almost like Helvetica but with a few surprises.
  • Alte Haas Grotesk comes in Regular and Bold versions. It's a grotesk with a Helvetica look.
  • Lowvetica is inspired by Helvetica but "eliminating all highs and lows."
  • Helveticrap from Tension Type is an all-caps slightly messy and distressed take on Helvetica.

Lookalikes and Alternatives

Helvetica is a grotesque or neo-grotesque sans serif fonts, as are many of the fonts listed below.

  • Arial (Buy Direct; complete family)
  • Armitage
  • ARS Region
  • Basic Commericial
  • Claro
  • Corvus
  • Europa Grotesk (Buy Direct)
  • FF Bau (Buy Direct)
  • FF Dagny
  • FF Schulbuch (Buy Direct; volume of several versions)
  • Geneva 2
  • Hamilton (Buy Direct; complete family)
  • Heldustry
  • Helio/II
  • Helv
  • Helvette
  • Holsatia
  • Maxima (Buy Direct EF Maxima 1 Volume or Buy Direct URW Maxima Volume)
  • Megaron/II
  • Museo Sans
  • Nimbus Sans (Buy Direct)
  • Sans URW
  • Spectra (Buy Direct; New Spectra)
  • Sonoran Sans Serif
  • Swiss
  • Swiss 721 BT
  • Switzerland
  • CG Triumvirate
  • Univers
  • Vega (Buy Direct; complete family includes serif, sans serif, rounded sans serif)
  • Swiss 911 BT (Helvetica Compressed)
  • Impact and Placard Bold and Swiss 921 BT (Helvetica Inserat/Compressed)
  • Arial Narrow (Helvetica Narrow)
  • There are probably many others.

More Lookalike Lists and Discussion

For the real thing, look here to find Helvetica fonts or explore all the different members of the Helvetica family of fonts.