Welcome to the second part of decent alternatives for popular fonts. We share some of our favorite alternatives for popular fonts here.
Looking for good alternatives for popular fonts is always challenging. We learned that good fonts can run the gamut from free to hundreds of dollars, and sometimes your budget won’t allow you to higher-end ones that can be considered expensive. Google fonts, nonetheless, has provided a large variety of typefaces that you can choose from as an alternative for your project. Of course they won’t be exact matches, but their similar aesthetic similitudes hopefully can make up for that.
01. Helvetica Alternative: Work Sans & IBM Plex Sans
Designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann, there’s no doubt that Helvetica is tremendously popular. From brands logos, to packaging designs, to websites, and to poster, we see it almost everywhere.
As a Swiss-made typeface, Helvetica delivers preciseness and neutrality through its sleek lines. It can work well in all kinds of situations and applications due to its balanced and neutral nature.
Many newer fonts have attempted to replicate its dependability, and among them we find Work Sans and IBM Plex Sans perfect alternatives for Helvetica.
02. Georgia Alternative: Neuton
Designed by Matthew Carter and released by Microsoft in 1996, Georgia has been long known as one of the most versatile font for body and web copy. Georgia is applauded for its excellent readability and legibility thanks to its large x-heights, great spacing, and the contrast between regular and bold weights—it’s perfect for reading long text passages on screen.
It’s rather hard to find such fonts that can perfectly substitute Georgia, but we find Neuton a good alternative. The large height and short extenders make Neuton equally pleasantly readable at small sizes.
03. Didot Alternative: Antic Didone
Didot is another font that is enormously popular but is so hard to find the lower-end counterparts. There isn’t one that comes really close to the typeface used by high-end designer brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani and fashion magazines like Vogue and Bazaar. Designed by Firmin Didot in 1783, the font is associated with exclusivity and sophistication, showcased through the thin hairlines and a large contrast between thick and thin parts.
The distinguished structure and strokes that lend an elegant feel to design is what we seek in Didot, and fortunately we come across Antic Didone, a Google Font that shares the same features. Check it out here.
04. Whitney Alternative: Catamaran
Developed by Tobias Frere-Jones in 2004, Whitney is a humanist sans-serif typeface that is deeply rooted in calligraphy. Unlike other sans-serifs that sometimes give off cold feelings, Whitney’s broad x-heights and optimized counters lend a warmth and human touch to any design. The font, which originally designed exclusively for New York’s Whitney Museum, has seen a rise in popularity thanks to its excellent legibility in print and digital.
If you’re currently seeking for a lower-end counterpart, you may want to check out Catamaran, an extremely versatile font family that comprises of multiple weights (9 of it!), here.
05. Brandon Grotesque Alternative: Josefin Sans
We couldn’t just write this post without including the gorgeous and extremely popular Brandon Grotesque, a geometric sans-serif typeface created by Hannes von Döhren of HVD Fonts. Inspired by the structures of sans serifs of the 20s and 30s, Brandon Grotesque has distinctive characters, seen from the circular shapes with variations of stroke widths. It’s structured sans-serif but with a twist, making it functional but also full of warmth and personality.
Available in six weights, Brandon Grotesque’s versatility across media is laudable. If you’re looking for a typeface that shares the same features but is less popular, we suggest that you check out Josefin Sans.
Want to read more about typography? Check out our articles here.