Against: Thomas Phin­ney


“Leg­i­bil­ity should be the para­mount con­cern for a user in­ter­face type­face. In Hel­vetica, at small sizes or un­der poor view­ing con­di­tions, cer­tain char­ac­ters are muddy or eas­ily con­fused with oth­ers be­cause of how they are drawn: C is too close to O, a and e tend to close up and be hard to make out. Th­ese nearly-closed shapes in Hel­vetica are stupid, bor­der­ing on crim­i­nal, in a UI type­face. There’s a rea­son that type­faces de­signed for in­ter­faces use very open aper­tures. Some have ar­gued that Hel­vetica is bad at low res­o­lu­tions, but is fine on Retina screens. Al­though low res­o­lu­tion ex­ac­er­bates the prob­lems, it does not cre­ate them; the prob­lems are in­her­ent.” Tom Phin­ney is vice-pres­i­dent of Fon­tLab. thomas­phin­

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