There is a tale that Microsoft commissioned Arial because they wanted something similar to Helvetica as part of their Windows 3.1 operating system in 1992. The latter part may be true, but Microsoft did not commission Arial. Arial was already in existence, ten years prior in 1982 as a bitmap font for IBM printers. It evolved from a 1920s typeface called Monotype Grotesque. However, it won’t be diluting the truth to state that Arial owes its omnipresence to Microsoft Windows.
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