“For the first time ever, Apple is ditching Lucida Grande as the OS X system font in favor of Helvetica Neue, which also happens to be the iOS system font,” Suzanne LaBarre reports for Fast Company. “For an operating system that’s used by 80 million people, that’s no small thing. Will it make reading on desktop computers easier? Harder?”
“We asked Tobias Frere-Jones, the famed typeface designer who has worked with some of the world’s best publications and design shops, to offer his insights on what this change means for consumers,” LaBarre reports. “In his view, Apple might have made a mistake.”
Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems have been gradually converging for some time. So it was inevitable that one typographic palette would displace the other. With OS X 10.10, Mac desktops will sport Helvetica everywhere. But I had really hoped it would be the other way around, with the iPhone taking a lesson from the desktop, and adopt Lucida Grande. Check the lock screen on your iPhone. You’ll see Helvetica there, a half-inch tall or larger, and it looks good. Problem is, there aren’t many other places where it looks as good. Despite its grand reputation, Helvetica can’t do everything. It works well in big sizes, but it can be really weak in small sizes… For any text, but particularly in interfaces, our eyes need typefaces that cooperate rather than resist. A super-sharp Retina Display might help, but the real issue is the human eye, and I haven’t heard of any upgrades on the way. – Tobias Frere-Jones
Read more in the full article here.
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