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Af­ter two years as Ap­ple’s ty­po­graph­i­cal iden­tity, Hel­vetica Neue is be­ing re­placed by a be­spoke font, San Fran­cisco, as the de­fault font on both OS X El Cap­i­tan and IOS 9 this fall. San Fran­cisco is the first in-house type­face Cu­per­tino has de­signed in more than 20 years. The sans-serif type­face comes in 23 vari­a­tions. With its clean, com­pact shapes, sub­tle round­ness, and am­ple space be­tween let­ters, San Fran­cisco was no doubt de­signed for max­i­mum leg­i­bil­ity on the 3.8-cen­time­tre Ap­ple Watch dis­play al­though it was qui­etly added it to the key­board of 29LT Kaff is a con­tem­po­rary type­face fam­ily de­signed by Pas­cal Zoghbi of 29Let­ters (29LT) and Ian Party of Swiss Type­faces, in which the Ara­bic and Latin let­ter­forms were cre­ated si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Its name is taken from an Ara­bic word mean­ing ‘ad­e­quate, suf­fi­cient, nec­es­sary and es­sen­tial’. Kaff’s fam­ily of eight weights (Thin, Ul­tra Light, Light, Reg­u­lar, Medium, Bold, Semi Bold and Black) is de­signed to be the suit­able type­face that an­swers the need of de­sign­ers and pub­lish­ers in most of their ty­po­graphic projects. Said to work best as a cor­po­rate type­face as well as a sleek fash­ion­able type­face, the new Macbook and used on IOS. At WWDC it was clear that San Fran­cisco was al­ways meant for more than the Watch’s tiny screen. The clues were every­where: jack­ets given to at­ten­dees fea­tured “WWDC 2015" em­broi­dered in white San Fran­cisco let­ters. Screen­shots plas­tered on the enor­mous screen be­fore the au­di­ence showed San Fran­cisco im­ple­mented in the new op­er­at­ing sys­tems. Quickly, Twit­ter lit up with type en­thu­si­asts weigh­ing in on whether it was San Fran­cisco or Hel­vetica Neue on­screen, and the pros and cons of each. For a com­pany whose for­tune stems in no small part from its com­mit­ment to de­sign, you’d think Ap­ple would be quick to make some noise about it, but it was low key about it all. Why? It could be that Ap­ple wants to save face.

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