The Difference Between Arial And Helvetica

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The drive to the core of absence is also evident in the realm of type design. In 1932, Beatrice Warde, an American typographic expert, published an essay ‘The Crystal Goblet’, or known as ‘Printing Should Be Invisible’, insists on an ‘invisible’ or ‘transparent’ typography in order to elevate the printed words. In her essay, Warde adopted a metaphor that the design for typefaces should be as transparent as crystal glass for wine (Warde, 1936, p.6). A typeface, as a container, is calculated to reveal and not to hide the beautiful content which it is meant to contain. The design of the ‘container’ should not call undue notice to itself. Her theory of invisible typefaces is in line with Modernist simplicity as well as functionality, which perfect…show more content…
They both are sans-serif typefaces that are universally embraced by different applications. At first glance, they seem extremely similar. But if designers examine the characters in each typeface closely, the differences between them become apparent. Mark Simonson, an American graphic designer, produced an analysis of these two typefaces, showing how much more refined Helvetica than that of Arial (Simonson, 2001). The primary difference between the two is the treatments of their endings. While Helvetica is vertically cut, Arial is slightly angled. For instance, the tail of the ‘a’ is gently curved in Helvetica, as is the first connection of the bowl to the stem, but not in Arial. Similarly, the top of the ‘t’ and the ends of the strokes in the ‘C’ and ‘S’ are perfectly horizontal in the former, but slightly angled in the latter. Even though the distinguishing details are so tiny that cannot be noticed unless they are scrutinized as Simonson has done. Yet it is these subtleties that constitute Helvetica a finer example of design than Arial, especially for professionals. Functionally the two types are roughly equal, both are admirably clear, but aesthetically Helvetica is
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