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Neue Haas Grotesk Free: A Modern Fresh Serif Typeface for Personal Use

Neue Haas Grotesk: The Original Helvetica

Neue Haas Grotesk is a typeface that was designed in the late 1950s by Max Miedinger for the Haas Type Foundry in Switzerland. It was intended to be a modern and versatile sans serif font that could compete with the popular grotesque fonts of the time, such as Akzidenz Grotesk and Monotype Grotesque. Neue Haas Grotesk was later renamed Helvetica by Linotype, and became one of the most widely used fonts in the world.

However, the transition from metal to photo and digital typesetting altered some of the original features and proportions of Neue Haas Grotesk. For example, the bold weight had to be narrowed to fit the same width as the regular weight, and some of the curves and terminals were simplified or regularized. In addition, different versions of Helvetica were produced by different foundries and manufacturers, resulting in inconsistencies and variations across platforms and media.

Neue Haas Grotesk Free

In 2004, Christian Schwartz was commissioned by The Guardian newspaper to create a digital revival of Neue Haas Grotesk, based on Miedinger's original drawings and metal type specimens. Schwartz aimed to restore the warmth and personality of the original design, while adding kerning, optical sizes, and additional weights and styles. The project was later completed in 2010 for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, with the help of Berton Hasebe who designed the thinnest weight.

Neue Haas Grotesk is now available as a free font for personal use only. It comes in two optical sizes: Text and Display, each with eight weights and matching italics. The font supports Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts, and has a range of OpenType features such as ligatures, fractions, alternates, and stylistic sets. Neue Haas Grotesk is a faithful and elegant revival of a classic typeface that deserves to be rediscovered and appreciated by modern designers and typographers.

Neue Haas Grotesk was first released in 1957 by the Haas Type Foundry in Switzerland, under the direction of Eduard Hoffmann. The name means "New Haas Grotesque", and it was a modernized version of an earlier typeface called Schelter-Grotesk. The designer of Neue Haas Grotesk was Max Miedinger, a former salesman and graphic artist who worked for Haas. Miedinger's task was to create a neutral and legible sans serif font that could be used for both text and display purposes.

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Neue Haas Grotesk was soon licensed by Linotype, a German company that produced typesetting machines. Linotype renamed the font Helvetica, which is Latin for "Swiss", to make it more appealing to the international market. Helvetica quickly became popular among graphic designers, especially in Europe and America, where it was associated with the Swiss style of clean and minimalist design. Helvetica was also adopted by many corporations, institutions, and governments as their official typeface, such as IBM, Lufthansa, NASA, and the New York City Subway.

However, Helvetica also underwent many changes and adaptations over the years, as it was converted from metal to photo and digital formats. Some of these changes affected the original proportions, details, and spacing of Neue Haas Grotesk, making it less consistent and harmonious. For example, the bold weight of Helvetica was made narrower than the regular weight to fit the same width on Linotype machines, while some of the curves and terminals were simplified or regularized to suit different technologies and resolutions.


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