How and why was Arial made?
In the early days of computer-based typography, there were a core set of typefaces that were established as almost essential for desktop publishing. These included Helvetica, Courier and Times.
For a while, Microsoft earned some notoriety for not licensing these typefaces for Microsoft Windows but instead commissioning (or choosing) lookalike typefaces from a different type-foundry. These “cheap knock-offs” were Arial, Courier New and Times New Roman.
What are the differences?
There are some noticable differences between the original typefaces and the typefaces Microsoft introduced to imitate them.
Sometime in 1998? I stumbled on an interesting web-site entitled “Arial is not Helvetica” which explained the differences between commonly used Microsoft typefaces and the equivalent typefaces used in professional publishing. At that time I saved the images anh.gif, cnnc.gif and tnrnt.gif from the site, see above.
Since then I have searched for the site but not found it. I did find some references to it, for example:
Jens Kutilek Small typology page proving that Arial is not Helvetica, Courier is not Courier New, and Times-Roman is not Times-New Roman. Email to J.Kutilek@tu-bs.de“ ”http://www-public.tu-bs.de:8080/~y0007793/type/
However Jens Kutilek’s original web-site is no longer available (the URL returns error 404 - not found)
This page preserves the few fragments I have from the original web page created by Jens Kutilek.