Among all new level interface that has brought OS X Yosemite change typography has gone fairly unnoticed despite being one of the first things that are perceived just start using the new version of Apple’s operating system. For the first leaves as Lucida Grande system font in OS X in favor of Helvetica Neue, which until now had been the source of choice for iOS. A step in the unification of the typefaces, that could qualify as inevitable as both operating systems are converging but interfaces Readability is not the strong point of family Helvetica integrating and communicating better with each other. But focusing purely on typographic issues, Is Apple right choice?
There have been many reviews, especially graphic designers and typographers, that over years has received Helvetica Neue, mostly focused on readability interfaces. Erik Spiekermann, German typographer and designer, spoke about this in his blog a few years ago. Words like MM can be hard to read especially smaller font size. This also seems to be the line of thought of typographer Tobias Frere-also Jones, in an interview with Co.Design explains problems associated with use of Helvetica Neue as system font.
Despite its reputation, Helvetica does not fit all. It works well in large sizes, but can be very weak in small sizes. For example, letters like C and S have very closed forms on screens with low resolution or very far are not easily readable. Same with lowercase e, one of the most common letters.
Legibility on screen, as I said, does not seem to be strong point Helvetica , typeface created in 1957 and therefore was intended for use on paper. This is an aspect that Lucida Grande stressed due to opening their letters.
Lucida Grande has open apertures, inviting eye to move along text. It has worked very well for years, and for good reason. All texts, but especially at interfaces, our eyes need fonts that cooperate rather than resist.
Was a good decision changing typography? Helvetica has always been criticized for its use in display and interfaces due to its low readability and even more if version is used with a thinner weight as Helvetica controversy Neue Ultra Light that was used in third beta of iOS 7 and so many complaints caused among users. Personally, these days I’ve been using OS X Yosemite and although I have noticed change, I would not say it has been worse . I have feeling that with Helvetica Neue worse readability, although this is a more personal appreciation and respect.