The total banishment of Helvetica

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by mpavilion, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. mpavilion macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 4, 2014
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    SFV, CA, USA
    #1
    It's not even available as an option in the new Reading Mode font selector (see attached).

    When Apple "goes another way," they really go another way. They really went from "everything in this font" to "forget it even existed."

    (For the record -- San Francisco's OK, and it is more legible at smaller sizes; but it lacks a certain "class" and "presence" that Helvetica carries.)
     

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  2. Madonepro macrumors regular

    Madonepro

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    #2
    LOL, can you explain 'lacks a certain class and presence"? Personally I like the new font, it has made everything a little easier to read, and a few of my colleagues feel the same way.
     
  3. invisibleshoes macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2014
    #3
    RIP Helvetica, you will be missed. Is the new font supposed to be easier on the eyes? I feel the complete opposite.
     
  4. SHNXX macrumors 68000

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    Oct 2, 2013
    #4
    That's pretty interesting. Thanks for posting.
     
  5. yanki01 macrumors 68040

    yanki01

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    Texas
    #5
    Twitter got a little getting used to reading but I really enjoy the font. feels like a whole new device.
     
  6. mpavilion, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    mpavilion thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I'm not a design guy, I don't really have the vocabulary to talk about typefaces... I just think Helvetica looks "classic" (I guess b/c it is "classic"), whereas SF looks like a modern digital font designed for clarity (which it is; with its anemic, clipped letterforms).

    I know Helvetica has its detractors (as overused, etc.), and Apple was criticized specifically for relying on it so much as a mobile font. They were probably right to make the change. But it's interesting that Helvetica has been in the mix since the original Mac (right?), and now it's gone from iOS.
     
  7. Madonepro macrumors regular

    Madonepro

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    Mar 16, 2011
    #7
    It's still exists as a font, and no doubt many will still use it. I guess Apple believe it is a better typeface to use for reading clarity. I for one, agree.
     
  8. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #8
    When Apple changes something they really change it most of the time without some option to revert that. Been pretty much the case with them for a long time.
     
  9. bandofbrothers macrumors 601

    bandofbrothers

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    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Uk
    #9
    I prefer it too.

    I'm sure that some people will jail break when/if it becomes available on iOS 9 to use Bytafont to reintroduce the original font.
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    Helvetica. Ugh. Ugly. There's nothing, absolutely nothing unique about that font family, this coming from a tech writer and typesetter going back to 1987. I won't, and don't, miss Helvetica.

    OK, so there's some "lovers" of Helvetica out there. Let's look at one ugly side of using this font - the cost, coming from the typesetter side of me. I license all of the fonts that I use in my work. I've won awards for my layouts - not one of them included Helvetica (one did use Skia, another Palatino, so thanks Apple for those fonts!).

    I like the Helevetica font, but Linotype is charging $832 for all of the Linotype Styles. Ouch. Multiply that price, even with a "group discount", for an OS that costs $0 and I'd see that cost digging a pretty big hole when multiplied by 10 or 50 or 100 million Mac users.

    So, the San Francisco Font it is. If you don't like it, send your check to Linotype for $832.
     
  11. KALLT macrumors 601

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    Sep 23, 2008
    #11
    Helvetica and San Francisco are so much alike, why include two typefaces that are barely distinguishable?
     
  12. mpavilion thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    They look pretty different to me(?) We're not talkin' "Arial" here...!
     
  13. KALLT macrumors 601

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    Sep 23, 2008
    #13
    Definitely not Arial/Helvetica similarity, but it is very obvious that San Francisco was based on Helvetica. Apple designers love that typeface and they made sure that most of its elegance was retained, while optimising for legibility. There are some tests online that compare the two and even though I’m a typeface fetishist, I had a really tough time keeping them apart. Most users will either not notice the difference (maybe just observe that ‘something’ looks different) or find the difference so minor that it’s not necessary to keep Helvetica around.

    All I’m saying is that it makes sense for Apple to keep the list short and provide some visually distinctive typefaces. Helvetica and San Francisco would be the most similar on that list.
     
  14. stevemiller macrumors 65816

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    Oct 27, 2008
    #14
    Total personal opinion, I don't mind or even notice sf to much for text, but numbers, specifically the time at the top of the screen somehow feels horizontally stretched.
     
  15. mpavilion thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    SFV, CA, USA
    #15
    Yes, the wider spacing between characters in SF (I think they call it "kerning") is one of those factors that I'm sure increases legibility, but looks "off" to me.
     

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