Arial Font Download & Free Alternatives

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Arial font is perhaps one of the most recognized typeface in the font family. Monotype Imaging designers Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders created this font for use in an early IBM® laser printer in 1982. Since that time, Arial has become as common place as Times Roman in the text repertoire. Arial was to be a competitor to the Helvetica font and therefore, is surmised to have its roots in Helvetica® typeface. Although Arial began as a creation for use in an IBM® laser printer, Microsoft later licensed the Arial font and made the font available as a component of all versions of the Windows® operating system. Later, Arial was replaced by Calibri as the default font for Windows®.

Origins of Arial font family

Experts point to the Monotype Grotesque® design as Arial true foundation and origin. If one is not paying close attention to these two fonts, one might mistake one for the other but upon a closer inspection, there are differences. The Arial font has characteristics that distinguish it from the Helvetica design. First, the Arial design is softer and fuller with curves. Helvetica letters are cut off on the horizontal and letters like ‘c’, ‘s’ and ‘e’ possess a more natural inclination in relation to the stoke direction.

Don’t confuse Arial with Helvetica

Though rivals, Helvetica and Arial remain favorites among typeface designs; however, Arial is more accessible on computers thanks to Microsoft Windows®. In addition to Microsoft Windows®, it can be found in systems like Apple Mac OS, PostScript computer printers, Minitel/ Prestel teletext systems and hyper terminals.

Arial is available in many variations including Arial Bold, Rounded, Italic, Unicode MS, Black, Narrow, Special and many more. In addition, there are other Arial aliases created in the Font Substitutes section of WIN.INI by windows includes Arial Baltic, Arial CE, Arial Cyr, Arial Greek and Arial Tur.

Arial is loved by graphic designers worldwide

Graphic designers appreciate Helvetica and have more of a tendency to leverage this particular font instead of those like Arial. Yet, it’s Arial’s versatility that makes it appealing to millions.

Arial download