Arial alternativesPlease—anything but Arial

When sans serif fonts emerged in the 19th cen­tury, they were used mostly at head­line sizes, not body text sizes. But mod­ern ty­pog­ra­phy uses sans ser­ifs at all sizes. De­signs like Ar­ial and Hel­vetica were meant to be com­fort­able for ex­tended read­ing. I ab­hor Ar­ial—it’s clunky and painfully over­ex­posed (see sys­tem fonts). By con­trast, Neu­tral, Bernini Sans, and Cooper He­witt are newer de­signs that aim for svelte plain-spo­ken­ness, but with­out be­ing bland re­treads of ear­lier de­signs. Cooper He­witt, de­signed for the Smith­son­ian, is free.

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