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I really don't consider myself a typography expert or designer, but I found that easy and got a perfect score.

There are obvious tells in almost all of them -- mostly lowercase "s", "c", etc, in which Helvetica is has perfectly level edges and arial is angled.

The only harder ones are some of the all caps examples like TOYOTA.

Agree that lower case is trivial due to the level terminal edges in Helvetica.

For uppercase, the tip offs are the following:

* The capital A in Helvetica is narrower (more isoceles and less equilateral)

* The capital G has an extra hatch on the right side (looks like an arrow and not an L)

* The capital R does not have a straight leg in Helvetica

* Conversely, arial chooses a non-straight hatch mark for the Q whereas Helvetica's Q hatch is straight.

This image provides a good overview on the capital (and numeric) differences: http://cdn.ilovetypography.com/img/gqr.gif

In the case of TOYOTA where it seems that kerning might different in two images, the heavier strokes in Helvetica should tip that off.

The perfectly round Os in toyota are the giveaways. I got them all correctly, except for MATTEL for which the only difference is the stroke width; and which I ended up flipping a coin for (incorrectly).

That said, I did get a degree in graphic design, so I may not be typical when it comes to this.

In MATTEL, the crossbar of the E is placed in the exact center.

Here's a nice graphic of Helvetica overlaid with Arial with the same font weight and kerning.


In this comparison, the capital E's are identical, so perhaps MATTEL used a different weight Helvetica?

I picked the one with the longest distance between the T and the E. That was the wrong answer.

This quizz is an excellent training though. I didn't know anything at all about typography prior to taking the test (never bothered to learn the names of the fonts or their shapes), ended up scoring 17/20.

I have a degree in CS and did the exact same thing

I have three degrees in CS, and I (correctly) answered the titular question with "No", and then proceeded to prove it with 10/20 on the button.

I notice the differences (slanted terminals, narrower "A"s, etc.), but had no clue which was which. Weirdly, I'm super-picky about typefaces, but mostly in a "I like what I like" sense rather than a "I know the precise details about why" sense. I dislike both Helvetica and Arial intensely, and so never bothered to learn much about what made them different. They're both just fonts I don't choose for anything.

I noticed the round Os in TOYOTA also -- for MATTEL, the height ratio between the top two and bottom two horizontal bars on the E is more even in Helvetica than Arial.

Also Helvetice tends to look sligthly "heavier" (thicker) when put side by side with Arial. That gives away many examples at a glance.

Unfortunately that's not always true, since Helvetica comes in many weights. http://sixrevisions.com/infographics/helvetica-font-weights-...

It should be true if the Arial examples were provided with comparable weights. That is, assuming, that the two fonts were weighted similarly from their base.

The Helvetica is actually slightly thinner in the Mattel example.

This misled me on the Mattel example. Could this have been a mistake be the quiz designers?

For Mattel I looked at the space between the T and the E. One of them was really close and didn't look as nice, so I chose the other.

That is almost the exact experience I had. I got 17/20 and the ones I screwed up all had capital letters.

I couldn't see any difference between Mattel and Toyota.

The perfectly round "O" was the giveaway for me. Helvetica just feels more "literal" to me, if that makes any sense, with its perfectly horizontal endings on "C" and "S" and "t", so the round "O" seemed more likely. Mattel nearly tripped me up too, but I noticed that Helvetica was bolder throughout than the Arial equivalent, so it wasn't hard.

O isn't perfectly round in Helvetica. The Toyota logo is modified to use perfect circles for the Os. The real O is a bit rounder than in Arial maybe, but still not a circle. Futura is the one with the perfect circles (for both O and o).

Toyota was the only one I got wrong: it was the round Os that threw me off. I thought Helvetica didn't look like that, and, well, it doesn't.

I used the same rational. Whichever font looked bolder, I choose and got it correct. Also, the Staples Arial version didn't have the "registered" mark so I got that one easily.

But in the Mattel example, Helvetica is the thinner font. Instead notice the varying letter width, the M being wider than the A with Helvetica in the Mattel example.

I think your description of "literalness" relates well to "geometric" typefaces (typefaces constructed on simple geometric shapes).

Fun test!

Mattel was also the one that tripped me up.

As the GP said, the caps on the S, C, T, etc were usually the giveaways.

The flourish at the bottom right (not sure the correct term) of the R in TARGET gave me at moment's pause. But each of the logos was customized to an extent.

I realised it must be Helvetica because of the "R". I reasoned thus: I am more familiar with Arial than Helvetica, and I'm sure I would have seen that "R" before if I were spending a lot of time with it because it's just so ugly, so since I didn't recognise it, it must be Helvetica. And I was right.

It's funny, because I universally prefer Helvetica over Arial otherwise.

Mattel is the genuinely incredibly close, the 'Y' in Toyota is the obvious tell if you've spent a while looking at Helvetica though.

I answered 18 out of 20 questions correctly. American Apparel and Toyota tripped me.

The first difference I picked up on was lowercase r's.

Lowercase Helvetica characters never end on an angle. They are always flat and either parallel on the bottom or the edge of the screen.

Toyota was a pure guess for me.

You don't even have to know anything about typography. Without knowing anything about any typeface, after guessing and comparing the results of first few, I was able to nail 13 of 14.

I guess that anyone who knows anything about typography would answer correctly to all questions.

Clue: I went for bolder font. Also, Helvetica is a bit wider in these logos. After that, I also noticed the clue in C.

I found the first few were training me to see the differences, the rest was like playing a matching game.

Now I feel like my time was wasted. And I was proud of 16/20 when I figured that out.

Same here, I had only MATTEL and TOYOTA wrong for that reason.

All the rest I had immediately, on the very first image there was 50% chance I had it right and I did a lucky guess, from then on I knew Helvitica was horizontal, Arial slanted.

The way to spot MATTEL is to look at the letter widths. Arial tends towards fixed widths, whereas Helvetica's letters have varying widths.

Thanks, this is the key to finally help me spot it.

actually a was bored after ten right answers or so. It was really easy. At first I only looked for what "looked better" because I generally like Helvetica but find Arial really ugly. After doing the first answers, I started to see the minor differences and now understand why I like Helvetica better.

In the ones where you don't have the flat edges to work from, I found Helvectica is the "bolder" one.

The Toyota one is actually pretty obvious when you look at the O's - Helvetica O's are perfect circles, where Arial ones are flattened. As a Toyota fan, to me it makes a big difference. Arial is very unacceptable in this case.

In the cases with capital A's, you can tell by the spacing between the two "legs" of the `A`. Helvetica is more compact. The space inside `O` is more compact for Helvetica as well.

I agree- the only one I got wrong was toyota- for the other all caps, I looked for the slightly longer 'A'.

Indeed. This was the first time I really compared the two and using this method got me 17/20

the lowercase t is also a giveaway, helvitica has a flat top with arial having a slanted top.

+ compare kerning

In the Mattel example they both look kerned about the same to me (the A tucked under the T). Elsewhere in this thread it is pointed out that Helvetica uses varying letter widths and that's the only giveaway I see now in Mattel, though it's somewhat difficult to see due to the kerning. But the M is clearly wider than the A with Helvetica.

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