Monthly Archives: August 2007


Do You Know the Difference?

Helvetica (shown in red) was developed by Max Miedinger for the Haas Type Foundry in 1957 and by the early 1960s became part of the worldwide craze for Swiss design and the International Style. Arial (shown in blue) came into being as desktop computers were developed by designers at Microsoft in 1982. Is one of these fonts more attractive and more legible than the other? Although designers certainly get passionate about the topic (almost always siding with Helvetica) Arial is now a common system font and is often the default for web pages. Perhaps the better choice for on screen viewing is Tahoma (shown in violet) which was designed by Matthew Carter for Microsoft in 1996. It has a larger x-height, more narrow shape and tighter letter spacing making it an attractive on screen font.

Do you still want to duke it out with the “imposter” Arial? Helvetica vs. Arial will give you a safe place to express your inner bully.