The type foundry Monotype has just released a variable version of the world's most popular font, and it has more than a million styles in a single file. Helvetica Now Variable font builds on the 2019 release of the re-designed Helvetica Now to give designers the extra freedom of a variable font.
With more than a million styles to play with, designers can blend weights (from hairline to extra black) and optimal sizes (four point to infinity) and use new compressed and condensed widths for huge flexible typographic expression. If you're looking for more fonts for your work, see our pick of the best free fonts for designers.
Introducing #HelveticaNowVariable, offering over a million new Helvetica Now styles in one state-of-the-art font file. Create infinite shades of expression, incredible typographic animations, and ultra-refined typography. Learn more at https://t.co/iRXxSWgRMN. #MoreHelveticaNow pic.twitter.com/KxNjPPbtXBJuly 13, 2021
Previous font formats required each style in a family to have a separate file, but Helvetica Now Variable wraps the DNA for each style into one tiny package. This means designers can move through the entire sequence to seamlessly mix, match and custom create millions of variations on the theme through a single file that weighs a mere fraction of the size of the combined static fonts.
Helvetica Now Variable also adds in an extensive width axis to help designers who need to fit more into less space. This serves for responsive design for the web or for small supports like smartwatch screens or micro packaging.
Charles Nix, Creative Type Director at Monotype, said: "This font gives designers the firepower they need - from greater creative freedom to typographic expression - to produce exquisitely fine-tuned typography and expressive, animated headlines. Moreover, it's just plain fun, with the potential to bring the good news of variable fonts to the masses. Helvetica Now Variable is everything Helvetica should be today."
The cost? Helvetica Now Variable Pro Roman and Pro Italic can be found via Monotype Fonts, or you can get it from MyFonts.com priced at $299 or €329 each. The Helvetica Now Variable Family Pack costs $499 or €549, although there's an introductory offer of 60 per cent off until 27 August.
To brush up on your own typography skills, check out our list of 51 top typography tutorials.