Made back in 1982 on an IBM computer, Arial has earned its place as one of the world's most omnipresent typefaces. Designed by the Monotype Corporation, Arial was developed with a straightforward purpose: to be a reliable, neutral sans-serif typeface. And, it's safe to say that it has fulfilled this purpose admirably, becoming a staple of the typographic landscape.
It's worth acknowledging that Arial has cultivated a somewhat undeserved reputation. With Microsoft embedding Arial into their software as a default font, it's been utilised countless times in innumerable contexts, resulting in a certain monotony. This overuse, largely circumstantial rather than purposeful, has led to an image problem. Many have come to see Arial as a typeface to avoid—a nondescript, 'boring' choice.
However, a closer inspection reveals Arial to be a well-crafted, pragmatic typeface. The clear, legible forms of its characters make it an ideal choice for a wide variety of applications—from corporate brochures to web content. Arial's consistent performance across a broad spectrum of uses underscores its value as a functional, versatile typeface.
In recent years, designers have found new applications for Arial through its variants, particularly Arial Narrow. Offering a more condensed form, Arial Narrow brings a fresh dynamism to the Arial family. This divergence underscores Arial's inherent versatility and adaptability, breathing new life into the familiar typeface.
Arial, in all its simplicity, embodies the essence of functionality in typography. While critics may deem it overused and banal, such criticism overlooks Arial's virtues: clarity, flexibility, and dependable performance. With continued thoughtful application and exploration of its variants, Arial remains a valuable player in the typographic world.
We also curate the latest promotions and deals ran by font marketplaces, including one of which currently has the Arial typeface for sale.
Our team has put together a list of Arial typeface alternatives which may be of interest to you.