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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 1 Dec 2005 14:42:44 -0500
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Matthew Dull <[log in to unmask]>
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Matthew Dull <[log in to unmask]>
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Shawn,

While i am not an authoritative source on font history and usage, a quick
search for "helvetica" on Google revealed that Helvetica and Arial are
essentially identical, but with Helvetica being created first.  Secondly,
Mac OS has for a long while included Helvetica as one of its font choices,
and so Mac users would have this font.  Therefore, i would assume that Web
designers who use Helvetica:

a) are Mac users or are catering to Mac users and so include Helvetica as a
choice;
b) prefer Helvetica because it was the original font (before Arial);
c) want a flexible design and so offer an array of fonts that a user might
have.

There may be other reasons too, but this is what i found so far.  Wikipedia
also has an entry here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica

-- Matthew Dull
Information Architect
Michigan, USA


On 11/30/05, Shawn Zhang <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> I have been seeing many sites are still using "helvetica" as one of the
> sans-serif font in the font-family specifications in their style sheet.
> However I can't seem to find it in my system, nor could I find it
> distributed by any word-processing and graphics applications. My questions
> to you are,
>
> 1. Why is Helvetica still the font of choice? (other popular sans-serif
> fonts are Arial and Verdana).
> 2. Is it so that Helvetica used to be distrubuted with OS's but not
> anymore?
> 3. Any advice about if I should continue listing helvetica in the
> font-family?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Shawn
>
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