View Full Version : Why is Mac OS X moving to Helvetica OR Non Lucida Grande Fonts?
Feb 25, 2011, 07:29 AM
I really like the present UI of Mac OS X, especially the fonts that have been used through out the system.
iLife and Mac OS X Lion - Contacts/Calendar show that Apple is using Non-Lucida Grande or Helvetica Fonts. Why is this change coming to the Mac OS X?
It's quite disturbing as not everybody likes Helvetica. I guess a lot of people like good fonts, fonts that Apple has used before in Mac OS X. This change is not very pleasing. What do you guys think?
Feb 25, 2011, 07:46 AM
Personally, I think the more Helvetica the better ... especially if it's Neue, which is a more Helvetica-y Helvetica. It looks gorgeous on the iPhone 4.
Feb 25, 2011, 08:51 AM
They are cleaner.
Jun 9, 2011, 05:41 AM
Agree with thread starter. I'm completely against the use of Helvetica, not only is the baseline of the font screwed up but it is far too condensed and difficult to read. It's too large, bulky and fsckin UGLY. It's probably the worst choice of font for a user interface, it's terribly old fashioned and totally UNCOOL and stands out like dogs balls when mixed with LucidaGrande.
Helvetica on iOS is atrocious. Too big, fat, bold and condensed. iOS poorly uses the font since its so large the name of video files in the video app and audio files in the iPod app are so severely truncated they are illegible.
Jun 9, 2011, 05:48 AM
I love Helvetica Neue - The more the better. As long as it's consistent throughout the system.
Everyone knows Helvetica is the Queen of fonts.
Jun 9, 2011, 06:07 AM
Could someone show comparison screenshots of the OS X UI in Helvetica and in Lucida Grande (Lion vs. Snow Leopard)?
I don't know what it looks like in Lion, but generally I like Helvetica. It's a clean and modern font, but a bit tighter-spaced and thus a bit harder on the eye though, maybe they should stick with Lucida Grande as it worked so well...
Jun 9, 2011, 09:17 AM
You should all watch Helvetica:
Nov 6, 2013, 10:04 AM
Some notes on Helvetica and why it isn't really suited for text (can work as a headline or a warning sign, but not in OSX or IOS).
Why is Helvetica so popular? This question is not so difficult to answer. First, Helvetica was aggressively marketed in the 1960s. Second, Helvetica became almost the only typeface to be used by the Swiss typographic style of that era, which continues to be very influential. The third reason is that Helvetica is neutral and colourless; it is not dangerous. This makes it easier for graphic designers to use as a display face. A typeface that already has a lot of character determines the character of a poster or a book jacket. With neutral Helvetica, the character must come from the typographic designer. This makes Helvetica beloved by many. One can make a good poster with a bad typeface, but one will not automatically make a good poster with a good typeface.
In the past 50 years there have been many beautiful graphic designs using Helvetica, but this has more to do with the quality of the designers using it than that with the quality of Helvetica as a typeface. Frutiger explained its popularity with the words: 'Helvetica is the jeans, and Univers the dinner jacket. Helvetica is here to stay.'
As a text typeface Helvetica is an awkward creature. It is only because it is available on all computers that it is used by so many people around the world. You cannot blame them – they have no typographic education. They just have to set some text in some typeface. Unfortunately, Helvetica is about the worst choice one can make for text. Paul Rand, the American graphic designer, advised his students to use Helvetica only as a display face, and never in text, 'because Helvetica looks like ******* in text'.
Nov 7, 2013, 07:43 PM
I know this is a very old topic, but I just wanted to add that the addition of Helvetica in Mac OS X isn't new to Lion. iCal and Address Book in Snow Leopard used the Helvetica font as well. I'm not sure about Leopard, but I would think Leopard also used Helvetica in iCal/Address Book.
Also, in System Profiler (on SL and Leopard), when choosing to send the report to Apple (in the File menu), the Privacy Agreement text is in Helvetica.
So, yeah, it's not new.
Nov 28, 2013, 02:13 AM
Paul Rand, the American graphic designer, advised his students to use Helvetica only as a display face, and never in text, 'because Helvetica looks like ******* in text'. The ******* stands for 'dog' plus the slang word for faeces or excrement.
And he's right, try reading slabs of Helvetica and not get lazy eye or fall asleep. There's a reason Steve Jobs had an eye for typefaces. Apple should remember why.