September 9, 2014

Apple's New Typeface

The announcement of the new iPhone 6/+ and the Apple Watch earlier today gave every individual connected to internet something to either drool over or lament. In a fairly significant shift from my normal fanboy post-announcement glow, I remain neutral with my opinions on these new products. Don’t get me wrong—they look amazing. But, I’m going to get the new iPhone because I simply need a new phone. They could have rattled off nearly any feature (or not) and I’d have been satisfied. As long as it takes a charge it has my current one beat. Aside from that, I’m just not on board the “smart” watch trend. Once again, the watch looks great and I could be wrong here, but I really don’t think wearables will ever interest me.

What did pique my interest during the announcement was the departure from the typical Apple typefaces for the Apple Watch logo and materials. Apple has used Myriad for marketing materials since the early 2000s and slapped Helvetica all over every version of iOS, but when the watch was announced today, a new sans-serif accompanied it.

Apple Watch

At first glance it looks like a customized DIN or something similar, a welcome step forward from the lifeless Helvetica. Although this new typeface has all of the clean, predictable shapes that people adore about the swiss staple, it exudes character and, in my opinion, is an outstanding choice moving forward. Let’s hope the migration of all Apple letterforms to this new style begin sooner rather than later.

The type progression doesn’t stop with branding. The Verge is reporting that the UI for the Apple Watch is adorned with a custom typeface as well (i.e. not Helvetica)—another smart move. I may not be sold on the watch just yet, but I like the new design direction and am eager to see where it heads from here.

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