Helvetica is one of the most popular and widely used sans-serif typefaces in history. There is even a documentary film about it.
While I agree that it can work beautifully on posters and the like, I think that the readability of Helvetica on screens is still subjective. I’m also kinda bored of seeing it everywhere.
This typeface is a bit overused, right?
That’s the reason I wrote this post, to show you that there are some pretty nice looking fonts out there which can easily replace Helvetica for titles and paragraphs.
The best part? These fonts are free to use and are available on Google Fonts.
Check them out:
1. Gothic A1
Gothic A1 (9 styles) — A Korean and Latin font that is a versatile sans-serif typeface with multiple weights and optimized spatial distribution.
Designer: HanYang I&C Co.
2. IBM Plex Sans
IBM Plex Sans (14 styles) — A neutral, yet friendly Grotesque style typeface that balances design with the engineered details that make Plex.
Designers: Mike Abbink and Bold Monday for IBM.
Hint: I use this typeface on DSGN!
Roboto (12 styles) — Roboto has a dual nature. It has a mechanical skeleton and the forms are largely geometric. At the same time, the font features friendly and open curves.
Designer: Christian Robertson for Google.
4. Work Sans
Work Sans (9 styles) — A typeface family based loosely on early Grotesques. The Regular weight and others in the middle of the family are optimized for on-screen text usage at medium-sizes and can also be used in print design.
Designer: Wei Huang
Montserrat (18 styles) — A libre sans text typeface for the web, inspired by the signage found in a historical neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
Designer: Julieta Ulanovsky
Muli (14 styles) — A minimalist sans-serif that is designed mainly for use as a display font but is useable as a text font too. Muli has been designed to be used freely across the internet by web browsers on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices.
Designer: Vernon Adams
7. Nunito Sans
Nunito Sans (14 styles) — A well balanced sans serif typeface. Created by Vernon Adams as a rounded terminal sans serif for display typography.
Designer: Multiple designers
Rubik (10 styles) — A sans-serif typeface that features stout proportions with slightly rounded corners and low stroke contrast.
Rubik is available in 5 weights—light, regular, medium, bold, and black—each with matching italic styles.
Designers: Philipp Hubert and Sebastian Fischer
9. Source Sans Pro
Source Sans Pro (12 styles) — Adobe’s first open source typeface family. Source Sans Pr is a sans serif typeface intended to work well in user interfaces.
Designer: Paul D. Hunt for Adobe
Poppins (18 styles) — A geometric sans-serif typeface that supports the Devanagari and Latin writing systems. Each letterform is nearly monolinear, with optical corrections applied to stroke joints where necessary.
Poppins is available in 9 weights—thin, extra light, light, regular, medium, semi-bold, bold, extra-bold and black—each with matching italic styles.
Publisher: Indian Type Foundry
Bonus #1: Open Sans
Because you are awesome, here is a bonus font:
Open Sans (10 styles) — A humanist sans-serif with open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance. It was optimized for print, web, and mobile interfaces, and has excellent legibility characteristics in its letterforms.
Designer: Steve Matteson
Bonus #2: Arimo
And another one…
Arimo (4 styles) — Arimo was designed as an innovative, refreshing sans serif design that is metrically compatible with Arial. It offers improved on-screen readability characteristics.
Designer: Steve Matteson
Bonus #3: Hind
You can’t get enough of this, right?
Hind (5 styles) — Developed explicitly for use in user interface design, Hind’s letterforms have a humanist-style construction, which is paired with seemingly monolinear strokes.
Designer: Manushi Parikh for Indian Type Foundry
Looking for fonts on Typekit?
I made another list of top 10 Helvetica alternatives on Typekit. Check it out!