Khoi Vinh: “Helvetica has been the standard system typeface for iOS since the beginning, and largely without complaint.” Oh?

  • Why Apple’s new font won’t work on your desktop

  • Designers explain why Apple’s new OS X typeface is a strange choice

  • Spiekermann:

    • “Apple font ‘beautiful as typeface, totally sucks as an interface’ ”

    • German; translation:

      I have been asked what I think about iOS 7. Until now I just saw it secondhand, via screenshots on my iPad or mobile. But there is already a small shitstorm on the net that Apple now uses a ultra-light font like Helvetica Ultra Light that was originally designed for big font sizes and therefore is way too narrow.

      If you see a continuous text in 13 px, it is a nice, smooth, plain but unreadable carpet. I think this is a phenomenon when young graphic artists or industrial designers deal with typography because they focus on good-looking grey levels/tones. This is because they don’t read – they only look and see surfaces.

      I told you that already, actually.

      So the way they think about how to make something with leather or out of metal, they also think about type. And you can see it’s really hard to read. It looks beautiful, and especially on the retina display will look great, but it’s useless.

      I hope they will change it. I’ve met Jony Ive a couple of times, and, when we spoke, told him to get rid of vertical lines. I saw that some of them did actually disappear, like in the calendar; perhaps that was my influence. I’ll keep on looking at this. It’s like a youthful folly that young graphic designers often [fall prey to], to use Helvetica Ultra Light.

Need I also mention the flowchart of system settings made available to overcome the illegibility of Helvetica, which, like all grotesk typefaces, is completely unsuited to screen use?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.28 13:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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