Free/embeddable font similar to Helvetica

lailsonbm's picture

Hi typemates,

I am designing my new personal web site that is practically based only on typography (a sort of swiss style inspiration). The site is all set on Helvetica, but I know most of my visitors are Windows users and do not have it installed (and even if they had it, I think the rendering of Helvetica on a Windows browser wouldn't be nice at all).
So I tried the fabulous Typeface script to replace my text and still make it accessible and gracefully degradable. My first choice was use Helvetiker, a ready-to-go Helvetica-like (actually Helvetica-clone) type, based on MgOpen Moderna, but there's a serious problem: the font does not have some special characters I need, like cedilla (ç) and some accents (á, for example). These characters are essential for me, since the site has its main version on Portuguese.
I cannot use Helvetica itself since it is not embeddable. So anyone knows another free typeface very similar to Helvetica that has special characters?

Thanks

lailsonbm's picture

Hum, I think I've already found it... =]

Swansea
http://www.fontspace.com/roger-white/swansea

LAILSON BANDEIRA

Bendy's picture

Poor font! It's all bumpy and jaggy. I suppose that's what you get with a free font.

lailsonbm's picture

Bendy, I agree with you, but what can I do if big foundries does not cope with Internet reality? We need to embed fonts!

LAILSON BANDEIRA

lailsonbm's picture

Bendy, I agree with you, but what can I do if big foundries does not cope with Internet reality? We need to embed fonts!

LAILSON BANDEIRA

nina's picture

"but what can I do"

Build your site in Flash.

I know that has other limitations; but if it's typographic control you're after, I personally don't see why you're putting up with HTML.

lailsonbm's picture

nops altaira,
being in html is more important than typography... =]
accessibility is a keypoint (I know flash has improved it, but HTML is still the king)

Rob O. Font's picture

"Bendy, I agree with you, but what can I do if big foundries does not cope with Internet reality? We need to embed fonts"

That is funny. Helvetica/Arial is available on just about every computer in the universe.
Saying Arial is all bumpy and jaggy, or Helvetica on a Windows browser wouldn’t be nice at all, is puzzling.
Would another clone be better rendered if it's embedded? I don't think so. When you are making a web site, you don't have the choice of embedding universal quality because of the lack of embedding, in "client agents", not OS or fonts, or big foundries.

Cheers!

Bendy's picture

I was referring to the free font 'Swansea' as bumpy and jaggy, not Arial!

Arial is just dislikeable. But its ubiquity is an advantage here.

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