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Replacement for Google Work Sans

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We're working on an identity for a client who wants to position themselves nationally. In our initial design study, we happened to use Google Font's Work Sans. Over the course of using it, we found that we like many aspects of it. One thing we don't like is the fact that a client might get an open-source font for their wordmark (I personally take issue with companies using free fonts or open source fonts, particularly when using them for identity and packaging). We've done some searching, but haven't found anything "good enough" to replace it, so I thought I'd reach out for some opinions.

Two things to consider, we like the lobe of the "L" and the leg not touching the stem in the "K." We'd like to find something that might work similarly that requires subtle adjustment on our behalf.
asked by obsidian (102 points) Dec 9, 2015

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer

You could have a look at National by Klim Type Foundry, and FF Real Text & Head by Erik Spiekermann. 

What's wrong with Open Source fonts for identity work? The fact that there's no 'paywall' for copycats to use the brand's signature typeface?

Other fonts to consider: Akkurat by Lineto; Tenso by Exljbris. 


answered by Het Mes Expert (809 points) Dec 9, 2015
selected by obsidian Dec 10, 2015
Thanks for the suggestions. National was certainly one that caught my eye when I was looking for some alternatives. For this client, I feel that the "paywall" is potentially an issue. The Google font itself is quite nice. The client would like to position themselves as "high-end" for consumers who have disposable income. While very few would notice that it is an open source typeface, I worry somewhat it could appear that they appear being unnecessarily frugal or reserved. I also understand that my rationale might be borderline neurotic.
Work Sans takes inspiration from the same sources as the fonts mentioned above (early grotesques). Imho, a more important difference between most Google fonts (including Work Sans) and most fonts by renowned typeface designers is the quality in typesetting. All fonts mentioned above will set your text with more ease than Work Sans, especially in print. If you are looking for a more quirky, unfinished, raw look, Work Sans will deliver.