Neue Haas Grotesk Brings the Original Helvetica into the Digital Age

Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc., a leading global provider of text imaging solutions, has introduced the 22-font Neue Haas Grotesk™ typeface family — the original Helvetica® design — into the company's Linotype® collection.

The release of Neue Haas Grotesk marks Monotype Imaging's digital debut of a typeface that was first designed for handset composition using metal type in the late 1950s. Soon after, the design began to undergo revisions yet went on to great success. It eventually became arguably the world's most famous typeface, used widely in branding, advertising and signage — but under a different name.

"Think of Neue Haas Grotesk as the prequel to Helvetica," said Allan Haley, director of words and letters at Monotype Imaging. Aesthetic differences between the original and today's Helvetica can be traced to design modifications that were made to comply with requirements for machine-set typesetting, which replaced handsetting techniques.

"The story of Helvetica is somewhat like the story of Marilyn Monroe," Haley said. "Helvetica began with a different identity and became the object of multiple interests. It has endured cosmetic changes over the years yet has achieved and maintained extreme popularity. Now, thanks to the beautiful work of Christian Schwartz, the original design, under its original name, has been reborn for a new generation of graphic communicators and type lovers."

"My goal was to restore and preserve the original design intent as faithfully and authentically as possible," said Schwartz.

The original Neue Haas Grotesk, which means "New Haas Sans Serif," was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger, under the direction of Eduard Hoffmann, of the Haas Type Foundry in Münchenstein, Switzerland. The firm's parent company, Germany-based Stempel, made the decision to rename the typeface to improve its marketability outside of Switzerland. The name, Helvetia, was suggested, which is the Latin name for Switzerland. However, Helvetica was ultimately chosen to reflect the design's Swiss heritage, instead of the country itself.

With Miedinger's design, type could be set by hand in sizes ranging from five to 72 points. Each size required a different font, and each incorporated subtle design differences in order to achieve optimal reproduction of the typeface. However, as machine-set typesetting overtook handsetting techniques, changes were made to the design to simplify production — but at the expense of aesthetic nuances. Further modifications continued, as production methods evolved to phototypesetting and eventually to digital technologies. The Neue Helvetica family, released in 1983, introduced additional weights along with refinements for enhanced legibility. Improved punctuation was also included, as well as adjustments in cap-height and x-height to ensure uniformity across the family. Neue Helvetica was further expanded in 2004 with an OpenType® Pro version, which included support for additional languages. Over the years, however, the various revisions did not address the design nuances of Miedinger's original, now recaptured in Schwartz's revival.

Neue Haas Grotesk consists of eight weights of display designs ranging from thin to a black, in addition to three weights for setting text. All designs have complementary italics. Neue Haas Grotesk is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts that offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages.

Neue Haas Grotesk fonts can be viewed, purchased and downloaded from, and The fonts are also available for website design to commercial subscribers of Web Fonts.

Customers may contact Monotype Imaging in the U.S. toll-free at 800-424-8973, or in Europe at (+44 0)1737 765959, or 001781 970-6020, option 2. Linotype may be reached at +49 (0) 6172 484-418. Customers from other parts of the world may dial 001 781 970-6020 (U.S.).

About the Linotype typeface library
Established more than a century ago, Linotype is a Monotype Imaging brand that represents exceptional quality typefaces for brand managers, designers, publishers, IT administrators and product developers. Influenced by its German and Swiss roots, the Linotype collection is home to some of the most widely used and celebrated typefaces in the world, including the renowned Helvetica, Frutiger® and Univers® families. Typefaces continue to be released on an ongoing basis into the Linotype collection from some of the world's most talented and accomplished type designers.

About Monotype Imaging
Monotype Imaging combines technology with design to help the world communicate. Based in Woburn, Mass. with offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Monotype Imaging brings text imaging and graphical user interface capabilities to consumer electronics devices such as laser printers, copiers, mobile phones, navigation devices, digital cameras, e-book readers, digital televisions, set-top boxes and consumer appliances. The company also provides printer drivers and color imaging solutions to printer manufacturers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Monotype Imaging technologies are combined with access to more than 14,000 typefaces from the Monotype®, Linotype and ITC® typeface libraries — home to some of the world's most widely used designs, including the Times New Roman®, Helvetica and ITC Franklin Gothic™ typefaces. Fonts are licensed to creative, business and Web professionals through e-commerce portals, direct and indirect sales and custom design services. Monotype Imaging offers industry-standard font solutions that support all of the world's major languages. Information about Monotype Imaging can be found at

Monotype is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Helvetica, Frutiger and Univers are trademarks of Linotype Corp. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions in the name of Linotype Corp. or its licensee Linotype GmbH. Neue Haas Grotesk is a trademark of Linotype Corp. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions in the name of Linotype Corp. or its licensee Linotype GmbH. Times New Roman is a trademark of The Monotype Corp. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. ITC is a trademark of International Typeface Corp. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. ITC Franklin Gothic is a trademark of International Typeface Corp. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Linotype is a trademark of Linotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. OpenType is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2011 Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.

Syndicate content