Sunday, May 31, 2009

Helvetica is Expensive

Stung by criticism from xckd and college humor videos about my choice in fonts, I decided briefly to try out this whole 'Helvetica' craze. It turns out though, that that's not included with Word. But hey - no problem - I'll just load up Firefox and download it! Right?

It turns out, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, that you have to pay for that privilege. 43 Canadian dollars will get you one set of characters. If you want that in bold and italic (or bold and italic, or a few other basic variations) it could run you a couple hundred. And if you wanted the full pack, with the international characters, accents, font weights, rounded edges and whatnot it costs about nine hundred dollars. Nine hundred dollars.

Not that I begrudge Linotype for profiting off this font. They did after all put in a lot of serious design work into those letters fifty years ago and they should be rewarded for that. And they are undoubtedly trying to keep the unwashed masses away from the font, which is supposedly overused already. But still: nine hundred? I'm sorry blog readers, but you're just going to have to put up with Times New Roman and Arial (that's close to Helvetica, right? Oh fine, no Arial).

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