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Believe it or not, there are quite a few Helvetica font alternatives you can use.

A few years ago, we published an article to help designers and typography enthusiasts explore alternatives to Helvetica. The article was a hit! So, we decided it would be beneficial to publish the article again for your reading enjoyment.

Love it or hate it, Helvetica remains one of the most popular, ubiquitous, and enduring fonts of all time. It’s featured in countless corporate logos, remains the go-to choice to convey a certain hipster, ironically neutral aesthetic (American Apparel comes to mind), and is even the subject of its own documentary.

Logos with Helvetica Font

Helvetica is featured in countless corporate logos

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Extensis resident font expert, Thomas Phinney, gave a great talk at SXSW 2013 last year.

Thomas’s presentation covered activities outside of his typical workday, including some fun detective work to identify forgeries and other malfeasance identified through the fonts and typefaces included in various documents.

Former news anchor Dan Rather and former US President George Bush are featured prominently.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Thomas continues to do font detective work. Have a case for him to investigate? Shoot us a note.


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Check out this collection of fonts which contain our names – and give an insight into who we are…

Poor Richard…
http://fontzone.net/font-details/Poor+Richard/

But he could be King one day…
http://www.dafont.com/king-richard.font

Talk to the Christopher Hand….
http://www.dafont.com/christopherhand.font

His teachers would never believe that Chris has handwriting like this…
http://www.fonts101.com/fonts/view/Handwriting/18106/Chris

Torsten…could use a new pen…
http://www.ufonts.com/fonts/fg-torsten.html

Alex is looking quite sensible as usual…
http://www.dafont.com/alex.font

JP always comes in handy…
http://cooltext.com/Download-Font-JP+Hand

Kevin’s trying to be different, but not too different!
http://www.ffonts.net/Kevin.font

Alison is quite formal but with grace…
http://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/Alison.htm

Russell has his own style…
http://www.fonts101.com/fonts/view/Script/15766/Russell

JM hasn’t given up on the old typewriter yet…
http://www.dafont.com/jm-letter.font

Nigel won’t settle for one, he needs a whole harem of fonts…
http://www.ffonts.net/tag/0/nigel

But alas Davor is the only one without a font to call his own…!

At Extensis, we love fonts, so feel free to share your namesake fonts with us!


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Ever had the overwhelming desire to dive into the intricate and enthralling world of typeface design? Well, you may just get your chance at one of the Crafting Type events.

Lead by a great team of typeface designers, including our very own Thomas Phinney, you will learn what it takes to design, develop, and fully realize a typeface into a full-fledged font.

While three days may not be enough time to build a full character set you can get yourself a ways down the path.

The first option is this weekend in Boston, with the second following along shortly in March in Portland, Oregon.

Take it from me, this is a rare chance to learn from the experts. Jump on it.

Learn more and register here.


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Did you know that the typography used in a document can help identify whether a document is real or fake?

In this SXSW submission, Thomas Phinney will present his clues and conclusions from several cases he has been called into as a font detective, including a forged will, legislated point size requirements, a seemingly fake rabbi, an NFL Hall of Fame induction, and documents about President Bush’s National Guard service.

Learn how mistakes in typography, printing and font selection ruined what could have otherwise been perfectly good forgeries!

Please take a minute to vote for this session.

Other Extensis submissions

Looking for other great stuff from us? Check out these options. We hope that you’ll vote for them as well!