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Entries tagged: Typography

In another life, I was a Font Master.

A Neue Hope

Marco Arment on the news that iOS 7 beta 3 switches the system font from Helvetica Neue Light to Helvetica Neue Regular:

It represented one of Apple’s biggest recurring flaws: letting cool come before functional.2 With Ive’s new role leading UI design, I was afraid that we were in for a long series of such failures. And with iOS 7 being unveiled so publicly and confidently, I really didn’t think any decisions as significant as the system font would change before release.

This is the most dramatic change we’ve ever seen midway through an iOS beta. We know have proof that post-Steve Apple can and will respond quickly to customer (or in this case, designer and developer) outcry. In my response to iOS 7’s design, I said Apple went too far with the use of Helvetica Neue Light. I implied (but did not say) that it wouldn’t change until iOS 8 next year. I’m so glad I was wrong.

Typically, that’s how Apple’s rolled. If their new thing stunk, they’d stick with it for awhile regardless. Think Ping. Think Core Data. New Apple1 shows an aptitude to listen to user response, which is great. Sure, there are plenty of things Apple should ignore. But listening is important and it’s something the previous administration sorely lacked.

My biggest gripe with iOS is that it isn’t updated frequently enough. Once per year isn’t enough, and I’m not saying that just as someone who craves the latest and greatest. Some things need to change rapidly. If something’s a dud, it needs to be swept away as quickly as possible. Cook’s Apple is giving me hope for more of that….

  1. Neue Apple? ↩︎