Helvetica Now

Monotype has just announced an update to Helvetica (even newer than Helvetica Neue). It’s called Helvetica Now. I’m sure we’ve all been waiting for a new version of Helvetica (or not). In any case, it’s finally arrived.



I wish that video went into some details about what actually changed, everything was very abstract :sweat_smile:.

Here’s a longer version with more details about those things. It seems there are a bunch of non-Helvetica-like alternate characters, better kerning and different varieties for different uses from micro-printing to large display type.

Honestly, I suspect it has more to do with Monotype attempting to keep Helvetica alive as a modern typeface instead of letting it decline into a relic from ages past — sort of like a software update that users feel they need to buy, even though the version they have does everything that’s necessary.


My postscript Helvetica font files are from 1987 and I have never felt the need to update, upgrade or otherwise replace them. I did have a brief fling with Helvetica Neue at one stage, mainly because a client at the time insisted on it. I hated the way it placed above (or was it below) the usual baseline and the letter sizes and tracking were slightly different. I have since refused to use it on principle.

1 Like

Me too. I still use the old Type 1 Postscript Helvetica fonts (on those rare instances when I use Helvetica). I have never really been a big fan of Helvetica Neue. It’s not really that I don’t like. It’s more that I find it so much like the real Helvetica, that the minor differences stand out as distractions. Of course, that’s something that only a designer would be bothered by.

I liked the second video. I was hoping to find a good comparison. I still want to see whole words/lines of text/paragraphs and how the NOW font changes the characters/readability. but that was a start.

I bought it

As many of you know, I have a passion for the Helvetica Typeface. However, I’m not sure how I feel about this. At a glance, i’m not favoring the kerning. Perhaps with the exception of Micro, I might find that font extremely useful.

I’ll have to take a deeper dive, and express my final thoughts.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook