Arial is a neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface designed by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders. It was released in 1982 by Monotype and although commonly thought of as a Helvetica ripoff, Arial was primarily influenced by Monotype Grotesque, a typeface released 31 years before Helvetica. That being said, Arial was also designed to be metrically compatible with Helvetica, so it shares identical character widths and similar low-contrast strokes. The most obvious differences between the two typefaces lie in the stroke terminals—Helvetica’s terminals are always perfectly horizontal or vertical, while Arial’s terminals are angled in many of the letters.

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Arial Specimen

Arial Type Specimen

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Flawless Typography Checklist

A typography master course that doubles as an interactive visual reference that helps you achieve flawless type on every design project