Helvetica Neue

Erik Spiekermann

Helvetica Neue (German pronunciation: [ˈnɔʏ̯ə]) is a reworking of the typeface with a more structurally unified set of heights and widths. Other changes include improved legibility, heavier punctuation marks, and increased spacing in the numbers.

Neue Helvetica uses a numerical design classification scheme, like Univers. The font family is made up of 51 fonts including nine weights in three widths (8 in normal width, 9 in condensed, and 8 in extended width variants) as well as an outline font based on Helvetica 75 Bold Outline (no Textbook or rounded fonts are available). Linotype distributes Neue Helvetica on CD.[76] Helvetica Neue also comes in variants for Central European and Cyrillic text.

It was developed at D. Stempel AG, a Linotype subsidiary. The studio manager was Wolfgang Schimpf, and his assistant was Reinhard Haus; the manager of the project was René Kerfante. Erik Spiekermann was the design consultant and designed the literature for the launch in 1983.[77][78] Figures were widened and some condensed weights changed from having nearly flat-sided verticals to a more continuous curve throughout the entire height.[79]

Designer Christian Schwartz, who would later release his own digitisation of the original Helvetica designs (see below), expressed disappointment with this and other digital releases of Helvetica: “digital Helvetica has always been one-size-fits-all, which leads to unfortunate compromises…the spacing has ended up much looser than Miedinger’s wonderfully tight original at display sizes but much too tight for comfortable reading at text sizes."[80]

iOS used first Helvetica then Helvetica Neue[81] as its system font. All releases of macOS prior to OS X Yosemite used Lucida Grande as the system font. The version of Helvetica Neue used as the system font in OS X 10.10 is specially optimised; Apple’s intention is to provide a consistent experience for people who use both iOS and OS X.[82][83] Apple replaced Helvetica Neue with San Francisco in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.[84]

– From Wikipedia