Poll: San Francisco font vs. Helvetica Neue (pre-iOS 9)?

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by vertsix, Sep 21, 2015.


San Francisco or Helvetica Neue?

  1. San Francisco

  2. Helvetica Neue

  3. I think both are fine.

  1. vertsix, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015

    vertsix macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    Curious as to opinions on San Francisco.

    I was obsessed with it for a while.

    But I thought Helvetica Neue is a lot more stylish, simple, efficient, and less obstrusive after a while.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2014
    SF was really weird in the beginning, but I've gotten used to it.

    Helv is a better font in general but SF looks better on the UI.
  3. 0000757 macrumors 68040

    Dec 16, 2011
    San Francisco has grown on me completely. Going back to Helvetica feels almost as weird as going back to Veranda from Helvetica.
  4. hunt2013 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2011
    Defiantly one of their better design choices. Looks very clean and fresh.
  5. vertsix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    But most rich text content on Safari, text in some apps and in the App Store is mostly Helvetica. It's a little inconsistent if you ask me.

    Nevertheless, San Francisco is still a pretty good font.
  6. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Either one works, but I'm kind of used to SF now.
  7. sanke1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2010
    Reading is far better on
    Helvetica Neue

    But for UI,
    San Francisco looks better.

    I say both are good.
  8. Cehus macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2015
    San Francisco is definitely better. Helvetica Neue was always just a bad interims solution for the iOS 7 redesign.

    Although, as a typographer who worked close to industrial designers at university, i wasn’t really surprised Jony Ives Team chose Helvetica, because most Industrial Designers know only a handful of fonts and default to Helvetica because it looks reasonably timeless and neutral to them. It’s really reassuring about Apples design team that they took the multiyear-path of developing their own modern font-family fit for the purpose. I think Erik Spiekermann really did have a little influence on Jony Ive to get SF ready and into the system so soon. Besides the fact that it would have been really hard to get Helvetica Neue working on the Apple watch at small, glanceable font sizes.
  9. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Even SF Compact (Watch) and SF (OS X/iOS) are noticeably different. When you change Helvetica that much so that it works well on smaller screens, you are changing the character of the typeface itself. Helvetica was never meant to be a multipurpose UI typeface. It’s been misused, just like Verdana is (which really shines at small sizes).
  10. Cehus macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2015
    Exactly. Good fonts have lots of different cuts (not sure if this is the correct english translation) for different purposes. Apple did a very good job with the different sizes of SF, instead of just scaling the glyphs.
  11. phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I voted for San Francisco, but I really think both are just fine.

    San Francisco looks just different enough to freshen up the interface and make it a bit more readable. It's really a gorgeous experience, the numbers look sharp too.
  12. andyw715 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2013
  13. Tamagotchi macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2013
    Helvetica, however I understand why SF is getting more votes. It's the novelty atm so people aren't tired of it.
  14. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Certainly not the only reason.
  15. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Indifferent on my mobile devices. I care more about it on OS X machines, where I'd vote for Helvetica.
  16. witherwings macrumors member


    Sep 3, 2010
    Helvetica Neue has more class, style, refinement. However, for reading definitely San Francisco because is more spaced between each letter. But lacks of some design, class. The € symbol in San Francisco looks weird.
  17. Diego F. macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2014
    I have the same opinion about the previous font. This one may be easier to read as there is more space in between letters, but the previous is way more stylish. I think it's a matter of time anyway. It's not a Comis Sans :-D
  18. phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    When it comes down to it: ease of reading > stylishness. Especially on such small devices.

    And frankly, I believe that Apple has created a font that encompasses both.
  19. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I don't like how "blocky" SF looks compared to Helvetica. It doesn't look horrible but they could have made some subtle changes to make it look more distinct from Roboto
  20. vertsix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2015
    Helvetica is just better for reading content I suppose.
  21. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
  22. greytux macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2014
    I like it visually and it is also one of the most intelligently designed fonts ever for digital rendering. Take a look at the 2015 WWDC talk "Introducing the new system font".

    2015-09-23 15_43_06-804_introducing_the_new_system_fonts.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.png

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