Helvetica Now comprises 48 fonts, consisting of three distinct optical sizes: Micro, Text and Display. Each one has been carefully tailored to the demands of its size. The larger Display versions are drawn to show off the subtlety of Helvetica and spaced with headlines in mind, while the Text sizes focus on legibility, using robust strokes and comfortably loose spaces. The Micro sizes address an issue Helvetica has long faced – that of being 'micro type challenged'. In the past, the typeface struggled to be legible at tiny sizes because of its compactness and closed apertures. Helvetica Now's Micro designs are simplified and exaggerated to maintain the impression of Helvetica in tiny type, and their spacing is loose, providing remarkable legibility at microscopic sizes and in low-res environments.
There's also an extensive set of alternates, which allow designers the opportunity to experiment with and adapt Helvetica's tone of voice. This includes a hooked version of the lowercase l (addressing a common complaint that the capital I and lowercase l are indistinguishable) as well as a rounded G, and a straight-legged R, a single storey a and a lowercase u without a trailing serif.
In the past, designers had to nudge, trim and contort the design to create stylish display-type lockups with Helvetica. Helvetica Now Display was designed and spaced with those modifications in mind—saving effort and providing more consistent (and more stylish) results. “Helvetica is the gold standard,' says Monotype Type Director Charles Nix. “To use it is to claim that you are the ultimate expression of whatever your brand aspires to be. Its blankness is its power.”
The Helvetica Now family is available in 48 weights from Light Micro to Extra Black Display, with matching italics.