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Google Fonts Similar to Futura and Helvetica: A Cheat Sheet

Are you tight on budget and can't afford to purchase pricey typefaces for your website? Check out the free Google alternatives we have reviewed in this post.

web font alternatives

Are you tight on budget and can’t afford to purchase pricey typefaces for your website? Check out the free Google alternatives we have reviewed in this post.

We know that trying to find the perfect web font for your website can get quite challenging. Especially when you’re tight on budget and buying commonly used typefaces like Proxima Nova or Futura is not an option. Luckily, there are decent free typefaces that actually match up pretty nicely.

Google Fonts — A Perfect Replacement for Futura, Helvetica, and Other Commercial Fonts

Google fonts is a catalog of free-to-use typefaces that anyone can add to their site. It places typography ‘front and center.’ The collection has been carefully curated by designers, open-source community, and engineers. It’s available for exploring in over 135 languages.

Among the Google fonts, you can find a free alternative to almost every premium typeface, such as Futura font or similar. The fonts available in the catalog also increase web page speed. This is achieved thanks to cross-site caching. Just load a font once and it will be accessible to any website that uses Google fonts.

To help you save loads of time, we’ve put together a quick guide to popular premium fonts and their best Google font substitutes. Enjoy!

Best Google Font Alternatives for Popular Fonts

Here’s a full list of the web fonts we’ve explored:

Premium FontGoogle Font
Kumbh Sans
Didact Gothic
DM Sans
HelveticaOpen Sans
Work Sans
BaskervilleLibre Baskerville
Proxima NovaMontserrat
Adobe CaslonLusitana
FF DINRoboto 
Poster BodoniAbril Fatface

Google Fonts Similar to Futura 

Google Font Alternative for Futura #1: Nunito

Designed by Paul Renner, Futura has an ancient form and is the full-fledged prototype of the 20th century Geometric Sans Serif. Nunito is a Google font similar to Futura. It’s a Sans Serif typeface available in 2 versions.

Google Font Alternative for Futura #2: Kumbh Sans

This Futura Google fonts alternative is a perfect fit for use in cutting-edge mobile and web apps as well as a decent substitution for Futura font in headings. The most distinctive feature of this typeface is its clear geometry. It originally offered 3 weights, but around a year ago (June 2021) was changed to a variable font.

Google Font Alternative for Futura #3: Questrial 

This Futura font Google alternative comes in only one weight and shines in headlines and body text on websites. The typeface also features tabular figures as numbers, which makes its particularly suitable for use in forms and tables. You will also notice that Questrial is a wider font in comparison with its premium counterpart.

Google Font Alternative for Futura #4: Didact Gothic

Didact Gothic is a font that stands out due to its unique design philosophy. Crafted by its designer with education in mind, each letterform in the Didact Gothic Font mirrors the most frequently seen versions taught in elementary schools.

This gives it a familiar and accessible feel, making it an excellent choice for educational materials or any project aiming to convey clarity and simplicity. While it draws comparisons to the classic Futura font due to its geometric shapes and clean lines, Didact Gothic has its distinct charm.

However, one limitation of this font is its availability in only a single weight—regular. This constraint might limit its versatility for designers looking for a range of thicknesses to enhance their creative projects.

Google Font Alternative for Futura #5: Jost 

Jost stands as a contemporary homage to the iconic Futura, mirroring its predecessor’s sharp angles and streamlined widths. This font exhibits versatility, performing admirably in both headline and body text applications.

However, it’s worth noting that Jost’s effectiveness slightly diminishes when used in heavier weights for substituting Futura. Boasting an impressive range, Jost offers nine weights along with corresponding italic versions.

One of the defining characteristics of Jost is its status as a variable font. This attribute not only enhances its value for web-based projects by ensuring quicker load times but also provides flexibility in fine-tuning typeface appearance.

Jost is particularly suited for projects aiming to channel the Futura vibe, especially for headings crafted in all-caps, where its lighter to medium weights shine best. Whether you’re designing for digital platforms or print, Jost’s adaptability and extensive range offer a modern twist on a timeless classic.

Google Font Alternative for Futura #6: DM Sans

DM Sans distinguishes itself from other fonts and even Futura with its distinctive double-story “G,” adding a unique touch to its design. Despite this variation, it serves as an effective alternative for those seeking a font similar to Futura.

Available in three weights—light, regular, and bold—DM Sans offers versatility for various design needs. Each weight also comes with its italic counterpart, providing additional options for emphasis and style. 

This combination of weights and styles makes DM Sans a flexible choice for both digital and print projects, whether you’re crafting elegant body text or impactful headlines.

Google Fonts Similar to Helvetica 

Google Font Alternative for Helvetica #1: Open Sans 

Helvetica is a Sans Serif font, with a quite old history dating back to the year 1961, available for up to 80 languages. Open Sans is a free font alternative from Google that you can use instead of Helvetica. It was designed by Steve Matteson and contains about 900 characters, including Cyrillic and Greek.

Another option you might consider as a replacement for Helvetica is Bebas Neue Google font. It was designed by Ryoichi Tsunekawa and is the best fit for captions and headlines.

Google Font Alternative for Helvetica #2: Arimo 

Created by Steve Matteson, this modern Helvetica Google font alternative is great as far as on-screen readability goes and allows developers to solve cross-platform document portability problems. Characters in Arimo are just a bit taller than those in Helvetica web font. This sans serif typeface comes in 4 weights and includes italics.

Google Font Alternative for Helvetica #3: Work Sans 

Yet another of the Google fonts similar to Helvetica. Conceived and brought to life by Wei Huang from Australia, this sans-serif typeface is all the rage in the web design community at the moment. 9 weights plus italics are available for Work Sans users. You can also use WS as a variable font.

Google Font Alternative for Helvetica #4: Inter

Inter, crafted by designer Rasmus Andersson, stands out as an exceptional open-source font that provides a commendable alternative to Helvetica. Tailored specifically for digital interfaces, Inter excels where Helvetica might falter, particularly in UI design applications. 

This is largely due to its optimization for on-screen viewing, featuring more generous spacing compared to other neo-grotesque fonts like Helvetica. This aspect allows designers to employ negative letter-spacing at larger sizes without compromising legibility, closely mimicking the classic Helvetica elegant body text or impactful headlines.

Inter comes fully equipped with nine weights, each accompanied by italic versions, providing a comprehensive range for designers. Additionally, Inter is available as a variable font, further enhancing its versatility and adaptability for different design projects. Whether for web, app, or digital media design, Inter presents itself as a robust, modern font choice that balances functionality with aesthetics.

Google Font Alternatives for Other Commercial Fonts 

Google Font Alternative for Frutiger: Hind

Frutiger is a Sans Serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1968. Originally intended for airport signage, it’s now widely used in booklets and magazines. Hind is a free alternative font from Google similar to Frutiger. This free typeface created by Manushi Parikh supports Latin and Devanagari scripts.

Google Font Alternative for Baskerville: Libre Baskerville

Monotype Baskerville was designed by John Baskerville. It includes 12 styles along with package family options. Libre Baskerville is a Google font similar to Baskerville. It’s a web font intended for use in body text.

Google Font Alternative for Proxima Nova: Montserrat 

Proxima Nova is a premium typeface created by Mark Simonson in 2005. It is supposed to bring closer together such fonts as Akzidenz Grotesk and Futura. One of the Proxima Nova alternative Google fonts is Montserrat. Julieta Ulanovsky designed this family to ‘rescue the beauty of urban typography that emerged in the first half of the twentieth century.’

Google Font Alternative for Adobe Caslon: Lusitana 

Adobe Caslon was designed by Carol Twombly in 1990 based on the legacy of William Caslon. It can be applied to text from 6 pt to 15-point. For larger font sizes from 18 point or higher, Big Caslon font is used. It was created by Matthew Carter in 1994.

If you are looking for free fonts like Gaslon, Lusitana is probably the best option. Designed by Ana Paula Megda, this typeface is best suited for long texts in small print.

Google Font Alternative for FF DIN: Roboto 

FF DIN is a best-selling typeface created by Dutch type designer Albert-Jan Pool, and includes almost 60 styles. Roboto is a Google alternative that can replace the DIN font. Designed by Christian Robertson, Roboto has mostly geometric forms.

Google Font Alternative for Poster Bodoni: Abril Fatface

Poster Bodoni is the creation of Chauncey Griffith. This typeface has traits of the fonts used in ads from the beginning to the 50’s of the past century. The free Google font Abril Fatface can adequately replace Poster Bodoni. It includes 18 styles for a variety of use cases.

We hope this quick reference helps save you hours of searching, comparing, and struggling. If you have any font suggestions or comments, we’re all ears! We love hearing from you!

Best Frontend Development ASAP
Dmytro Mashchenko

Dmytro is the CEO of GetDevDone, an experienced web developer, and a prolific author of in-depth technology and business-related posts. He is always eager to share his years-long expertise with everyone who wants to succeed in the web development field.

For more professional insights from Dmytro, connect with him on LinkedIn.