The new, heavier fonts create an inconsistent mess

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by kmj2318, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. kmj2318, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Naples, FL
    #1
    Edit - Cliff notes: Basically I'm saying that that since the main system font has been thickened, it doesn't match up with the rest of the design. I feel like a lot of thought was put into iOS 7 for it to have a thin linear aesthetic (with super thin lines, wireframe-like icons, etc.) However, now that the default font has been changed but nothing else, it feels like the orignal design philosophy has been undermined, and Apple is in quite a predicament.

    --------------

    The purpose of large type being very thin and smaller type being thicker was to give the type a consistent feel. For example, the time on the lock screen is in Helvetica Neue Ultra Light, but because it's so large, it's roughly the same thickness as the type underneath it.

    Let me use the Weather app to illustrate. In the first image is how the weather looks in beta 1 and 2. You can see that the weights look consistent with each other. The second picture is what we have in beta 3. Apple chose to increase all instances of Helvetica Neue Light to Helvetica Neue Regular, however, left any instances of Helvetica Neue Ultra Light untouched. Now the word Cupertino looks too heavy, and not as good as before. If they wanted to increase the size weight of one font, they should have cascaded that effect down through the rest of the system. For example, the third image have the temperature weight stepped up one notch to Helvetica Neue Thin.

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that Dynamic Type only applies to certain type. If it was to expand to all text, I think this problem would be easy to remedy. Also, it could give users varying levels of options for how bold they want their type, without ruining the aesthetic of the typography. It would be nice to let users choose either the first option, the third, or an even bolder option. I never liked how the Bold Text option affected only some of the text making it look inconsistent, and now I'm concerned that these inconsistencies are present even in the default state.

    Let's look at the iconography used in iOS7. If you watched the videos on what's new in iOS design, you probably remeber that the icons were drawn to match the weight of the system font. The lines were made to have the same thickness as Helvetica Neue Light. Let's look at how the icons used to be:

    [​IMG]

    You can see pretty clearly how the icons have the same thickness as the text. The next pictures shows how the icons look next to the heavier font from beta 3:

    [​IMG]

    You can bet the designers at Apple are not happy about this, considering that they designed the icons specifically to be used with the default font, they probably won't ignore that. I doubt this will be how the final product looks.

    Now here are the changes I made to the icons to match the weight of the heavier font in beta 3:
    [​IMG]

    After thinking about this, I can't see how Apple will keep the designs the way they are. I think they are planning to expand Dynamic Type to all text and even to their icons. That would explain why the icons are mostly all liner in appearance. A lot of people seem to like the change from Helvetica Neue Light to Roman, however, if this is all that Apple changes with the text, iOS7 will have lost its entire philosophy regarding typography and iconography.

    I'm very interested to see how Apple resolves this problem, because I don't see any way to do so without them having to make the font changes cascade through the system.
     
  2. jbenkelman macrumors 6502

    jbenkelman

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #2
    I agree that these kinds of little "details" need to be addressed. And I do have fairly that bringing these kinda of things to light will be what makes the GM perfect.

    Nice find.
     
  3. emckai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    #3
    Hopefully they'll bring back the original font or something close to it. There's a lot of betas still to come.
     
  4. Jdriguesz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Location:
    Edgewater, NJ
    #4
    settings people

    you guys realize that in the settings you can change your font size right? I noticed this because when i updated i didn't like the way that i was so large so i went in hoping to find a settings tab and i did. it's in general.
     
  5. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a

    yanksrock100

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    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #5
    I've heard this, but can you make the font thinner like in Beta 1 and 2?
     
  6. haydn! macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I think you missed the OP point.

    It's not that you can't change the fonts weight, it just when you do, it actually only changes certain text, not it all, and not the icons so you end up with inconsistent weighting across apps.
     
  7. Jdriguesz macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Location:
    Edgewater, NJ
    #7
    To be honest i never really noticed that. I was just content to see that i could thin out the text because i hate that bulky large one. I'm sure they'll notice this and fix it as more betas come out if not by the final released one. They fixed a lot of the other problems.
     
  8. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #8
    Man I don't get this site. When beta 1 and 2 came out we had all these posts about how the font was too thin and causing legibility issues and eye strain. Now Apple makes the font thicker and people complain that they liked the thinner font better and thicker font is ugly and inconsistent. On top of that we still have people complaining that Apple ruined iOS by going to this "flat" design (not sure if they consider this thicker font "flat" or not). If anything is inconsistent it's the complaining here.
     
  9. C DM, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

    C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #9
    Or...there was a set of people complaining about thinner font(s), and a (mostly) different set of people now complaining about thicker font(s). Why would that be weird/strange?
     
  10. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    Right. Everybody has a preference and when it's not going their way there will be complaints.

    Myself, I don't care either way because my whining on MacRumors won't change a thing.
     
  11. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #11
    True, it's probably not the same people. But when people were complaining about the thinner font I didn't see a lot of people saying its great, just like now I don't see a lot of posts giving the thicker font a thumbs up. So basically the complainers are vocal and everyone else is mostly quiet.
     
  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #12
    That's pretty much the norm for any topic and any forum (online or otherwise, but online especially)--those with issues or complaints will usually be the more vocal ones, if not often the only ones posting.

    That's why a lot of the forums are mostly filled with issues and not people praising something--after all, if you are happy with something, you often don't care to put much effort to really spread it out, but if you have an issue or a complaint, you want it to be heard (somewhere/somehow).
     
  13. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #13
    This is ridiculous. I don't see an issue with any of those. Some people need to go develop their own os or develop roms for android. They would be millionaires.
     
  14. Bawstun macrumors 65816

    Bawstun

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #14
    As someone interested in typography and design as a whole, I agree with the OP.

    I was never a poster saying how much I 'loved' the new thinner font, because I didn't have a problem with it! I don't think the *majority* of iOS users had a problem with it.

    I hope it goes back, because several of the 'headliner' fonts do look the same weight/size as what is underneath and it doesn't look right at all. Minor OCD annoyance. :rolleyes:
     
  15. imaginex20 macrumors 65816

    imaginex20

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #15
    I am a fan of the thinner font but I am not against the thicker fonts in some places. My opinion is the default font size is too large, I have mine a notch down. I hate how the new thick font makes text look bold in the Messages app
     
  16. gingerbloke macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    #16
    I didn't realise that it was possible to measure whether the `majority` of iOS users are those who complain on t'internehts, let alone to measure the iOS 7 install base.

    Not trying to be pedantic, just a point :)
     
  17. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #17
    It does get annoying though because the forum becomes not much more than a litany of complaints. And not all for legitimate bugs but personal design preferences.
     
  18. tremlock macrumors 6502a

    tremlock

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  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #19
    What?! I didn't know you could do that. I'm going to have to check that out.
     
  20. tremlock macrumors 6502a

    tremlock

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    #20
    Under accessibility
     

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  21. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #21
    The default font was changed to a somewhat more thicker type, unrelated to any bold settings.
     
  22. tremlock macrumors 6502a

    tremlock

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  23. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #23
    There are always bigger problems in the world, yet all kinds of other stuff gets discussed and dealt with all the time while those other bigger problems continue to exist, many for ages (unfortunately).
     
  24. F123D macrumors 68040

    F123D

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Del Mar, CA
    #24
    It's a forum discussing phones. Was the OP supposed to start a thread about world hunger?
     
  25. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #25
    I would say yes. Does anyone really see an issue with the font type? Its insane! Never mind the craziness is entertaining........proceed.
     

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