On new fonts and more [On The Verge, Episode 001 Review]

I watched the first episode of The Verge’s show- On The Verge (I recently made the switch from Engadget on someone’s suggestion, and I am liking the format of The Verge so far) last night, and I had some thoughts on the content of the show. One of the highlights of the show was the Special guest  Matias Duarte (the current director of Android User Experience). While I still wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on my device, my patience is diminishing in greater portions every day. There was much talk about the new font that Google designed exclusively for Ice Cream Sandwich, the Roboto font. The new font was taking a lot of flak since its inception was made public, people complaining mostly about how similar it is to Helvatica and so on, which in my opinion is more so mere heckling than well-thought criticism. The talk did get interesting, I hadn’t realized that font design and typography, is such a vast and interesting subject, It might appeal to a smaller audience, but interesting nevertheless.

On a side-note, during a recent trip to New York City, I came across the font used for the subway signs and I developed an immediate liking for the same, and upon a little web exploring, came across this interesting article on the font used in the NYC subway. And what do you know, it’s a Helvatica derivative as well. Matias also made a remark on how the UI for iOS is cartoon-sh in appearance, and giving it a second thought I must agree, however he also criticized the Windows Phone UI (while trying to avoid taking direct thoughts on it for some reason), I have to disagree with him there, I frankly find the  Windows phone UI to be really good in comparison to the other players in the market. Their UI seems to be the least derivative of the lot. The show also had him comment on the current UI’s of tablets and smartphones, and I was really glad when they bought up GridOs on the Grid10 tablet. Fusion garage really have taken a huge risk with their format, and it is quite simply fresh and brilliant, and they really deserve a pat on the back.  If you haven’t yet had a chance to look at it, you are really missing something.

The show ended with a demonstration of the Lytro camera, I am sure everyone would have read about this one and how ‘ground-breaking’ it is, in the field of photography. I won’t comment on this too much, I think we have to wait for reviews from the general audience before we can pass a judgement on how good or not-so-good it is. Personally, I find the features gimmicky.


About krithik

An Electrical Engineer by training, who occasionally dabbles in programming and design.
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2 Responses to On new fonts and more [On The Verge, Episode 001 Review]

  1. Ashish Mukundan says:

    Interesting.. Are there any studies about how fonts matter in a particular media?

  2. krithikk says:

    I’ve just linked the one article for NYC subway, but I suppose there are more, I haven’t looked in to them yet. You can just imagine the scope of the study everything from Cinema posters to the Nutrition Facts on processed food products.

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