Helvetica, released in 1957, is a popular sans-serif typeface used widely for its clean, modern lines. It’s excellent for body text to headlines and can be versatile because it has various weights and widths.
Helvetica as a display typeface may suit you if you want an attention-grabbing headline or other prominent text. It’s often used this way because of its bold shapes and clean lines. Given its narrow characters’ potential readability challenge, you could also use it for body text (though not at small sizes, perhaps). Helvetica also comes in regular and condensed widths if you need a more compact layout.
However, while many designers think Helvetica works well in many situations, some criticize it too. Specifically, some find the uniformity sterile and cold-feeling – plus the fact that it’s so well-known means they think people sometimes overuse it. When applied sparingly, though? A fantastic design tool.
Helvetica, the sans-serif typeface Max Miedinger designed in 1957, remains a digital and print media staple. It is an incredibly versatile typeface trusted for body copy, headlines, and display text.
Easy to read with a clean look, many favor Helvetica for several reasons. One reason is that it looks good on paper and pixelated screens. If you want your audience to understand what they are reading quickly and easily – which most people do – you need a legible font like Helvetica. For body copy, it’s excellent because even at small sizes, the letters don’t blur together but remain distinct. It’s also great for headlines: attention-grabbing at large sizes with enough visual weight to look good when used sparingly.
Helvetica can be used for almost anything – not just text-heavy projects but logos and branding.