"Computers are my best friends. When I help people find each other without knowing they used a computer, my best friends and I revel in our little secret!"    -Langel




Helvetica v Arial

Monday, November 16th 2009 1:26pm

Once I finally saw the documentary Helvetica, I started seeing it everywhere. Days of typographical naivety fell behind me. One of the crusty designers gave a story — Microsoft saves money by creating the knock-off font Arial while Apple Computers pays out for a licensing fee. While negligible next to Comic Sans, most designers will tell you, "Arial is a farce, an epic fail."

Raynor, of The RagBag fame, made an internet splash with his comparative graphic (shrunk at right). The differences are subtle, but this chart helps to see Arial's geometric short comings. Helvetica has as many square angles as possible; that is, almost all flat edges run parallel or perpendicular to the baseline. Arial, the knock-off, is just a slopped up mess in comparison.

Also, imbibing Raynor's feed into my reader has been quite the pleasure. A worthy wordsmith, that lad.

I might be preaching to the choir here. This is a design blog. Who would subscribe that isn't a designer. How can you call yourself a designer if you don't already know the difference between Arial and Helvetica?

Put your money where your mouth is! Head over to Ironic Sans and take their Helvarial Quiz. Try it without Raynor's cheat sheet first.

I scored 18 out of 20, an A- in my book.

posted by Langel

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