What do you think of San Francisco?

kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 22, 2007
1,600
536
Naples, FL
I was comparing Helvetica with San Francisco, and I think San Francisco is much more legible. I thought it was narrow than Helvetica, but it actually takes up the same horizontal space, it's just the the letters are narrower and there's more space between characters for the default tracking. SF is not as pretty as Helvetica, but I think that hurts helvetica's legibility. The consistent curves and wide letters look nice, but are harder to differentiate. San Francisco looks much more utilitarian.

 

sroche

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2008
13
0
Helvetica is trying to sell me something

I find San Francisco to be slow and deliberate, as in 'You Are Being Told
That You Must Do This, Because Government... '

and Helvetica is (by comparison) a little too sassy, and is basically trying to sell you something. Something sophisticated. (at least to the teeming masses)

I use Helvetica, of course.. when Dom Casual is unavailable

sr
 

zacheryjensen

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
764
144
San Francisco is a hardware font. It's the new font for the upcoming keyboards too (such as the new MacBook.) I think it's meant to convey a sort of engraved/stamped sense to the Helvetica style and I like it as long as it's not used in places where I have to interpret the text dynamically.

For example, the font choice for a watch face complication is fine. There are a very small number of things that will ever show up there, like a day name or month name or whatever. But as a font for a message, that's less awesome, as I can't so easily predict what it will say. For a keyboard? Sure, no problem.

And with the glyphs as they are, it blends better in design terms with the common shapes on Apple products than Helvetica does. Plus, I don't think Helvetica seems serious enough for a "permanent" label in the same metaphorical range as stamped text.

So yeah, I think it's a good font for its intended use.
 

Cayden

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2014
785
379
Utah
The font is clearly more legible when read while it is moving. Seeing this on my iPhone and shaking the screen around the SF font was far easier to read. Perfect choice for the Apple Watch
 

matrix07

macrumors 601
Jun 24, 2010
4,924
1,440
The font is clearly more legible when read while it is moving. Seeing this on my iPhone and shaking the screen around the SF font was far easier to read. Perfect choice for the Apple Watch
It's a new font for Apple Watch. It looks stellar too.
 

slenpree

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2010
692
157
UK
I think the idea with sanfrancisco is that each character "block" takes up the same amount of space but it's not quite a fixed-width font. I personally find san francisco easier to read than helvetica but generally speaking they're both nice fonts and beat times new roman, calibri and Tahoma by a long shot
 

greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,428
606
Be sure to wear flowers in your hair.

Honestly, I don't care what font they use. If it's legible, it's cool with me.
 
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grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,946
627
I think it looks great here …
It certainly does, but I doubt that the hinge will allow the display to swing back far enough, out of sight against the desk, enough for the user to enjoy the stylish uppercase keyboard in lieu of a display.

:)