ipod photo points to new OSX font?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
One thing having a colour screen has enabled the ipod to do is to move away from using a bitmap font to an anti-aliased one. And their choice is interesting.



Instead of using Lucida Grande which is the system font in OSX, they've used Myriad, the font they use in all Apple marketing material (since they dropped garamond).



and it looks just great.



Does this point to Tiger gaining Myriad as the system font or would that mess about with button/menu metrics too much? Lucida's great, but Myriad looks cleaner and more modern, and unlike Lucida, looks even better at large sizes, not to mention that it would tie the screen font into the font used in marketing.



With Tiger already in late-ish builds, I don't hold out much hope that it will be the new system font (and it's no huge loss if we have to stick with Lucida), but I am at least hoping that Myriad will appear as one of the standard fonts in OSX, as a web designer, I'd love to use it in web pages knowing that a slice of the intended audience can read pages in smooth modern Myriad.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    I agree, Myriad is a really beautiful font and would suit Tiger beautifully!
  • Reply 2 of 15
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Apple has used Myriad in all of their packaging and headers for a few years now. It would be nice to get this font to users though.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    I think they used it on the iPod because it has a more obvious, heavily-emphasized shape that would be easier to view on small screens.



    I don't know about how good Myriad would look in the OS X interface, though. Perhaps too clunky.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Can anyone tell me where I can get this font? TIA
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Just about anything is better than the ugly Chicago they've been using on the iPod forever, I'm glad to see a change.



    I'm not sure how I'd like it as a system font though, I'd have to see it in action.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I belieive that Myriad is really meant as a header font, not a body typeface. But custom forms of Myriad might change that, and frankly, I could be flat-out wrong about that. Lucida Grande really is meant as a screen font, and I'm a bit surprised they didn't go with that in this case even if the screen is high dpi.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by HoofHearted

    One thing having a colour screen has enabled the ipod to do is to move away from using a bitmap font to an anti-aliased one.



    I'd be willing to bet that the new font is bitmapped as well.



    Color screens have nothing to do with whether a font is bitmapped or not. Grayscale screens and even one-bit displays can do vector graphics.



    Also, bitmapped isn't the opposite of anti-aliased. Anti-aliased fonts can be bitmap or vector based.



    But you're right in that screens can and do effect font choice.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bborofka

    Just about anything is better than the ugly Chicago they've been using on the iPod forever, I'm glad to see a change.





    Hey! Don't diss Chicago, it's a classic. Also, Apple used Espy Sans for the mini.



    The reasoning of course, is that both were designed for 1-bit (i.e. black or white) bitmap display (Chicago for the Mac, Espy Sans for the Newton)



    Lucida Grande is designed as a anti-aliased screen font, but quite a big one, so I'm not surprised they had to go with another font.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    gordygordy Posts: 970member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AdvocateUK

    Can anyone tell me where I can get this font? TIA



    It can be purchased from Adobe.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AdvocateUK

    Can anyone tell me where I can get this font? TIA



    you can always steal it from an Apple Store computer.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    Color screens have nothing to do with whether a font is bitmapped or not. Grayscale screens and even one-bit displays can do vector graphics.



    ok, I should have used the term "1-bit screen font" instead of "bitmapped". But Apple has not so far chosen an anti-aliased font to use in the standard ipod, whether for readability, technical or jobs-ian reasoning.



    I also agree with you that the myriad used on the ipod photo probably has bitmap screen hints to give a perfect appearence rather than rasterize the vector each time.



    But I don't think we need to get into a semantic discussion over font technology, or have a redundant talk about using AA fonts on the standard ipod, I was just pointing out that the move to colour has meant a change to Myriad, and wondered about it's future on OSX.



    A little slack is humbly requested, this is a discussion, not a technical manual.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    Susan Kare sells some bitmap fonts from that era.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by HoofHearted

    ...But I don't think we need to get into a semantic discussion over font technology, or have a redundant talk about using AA fonts on the standard ipod...



    Awe shucks. But I like that kind of discussion.

    (Sorry, my intention wasn't to chastise.)



    Digging into the semantics can be enlightening.



    For instance, color screens allow vector based fonts. But more importantly, anti-aliased fonts (whether vector based or not), can make use of sub pixel rendering. Granted, if they're bitmapped and anti-aliased, then it isn't true sub pixel rendering, but rather non-monochrome anti-aliasing. Color screen based anti-aliasing provides 3 times the horizontal resolution as mono-chrome anti-aliasing.



    All this semantic mumbo-jumbo should add up to more legible fonts!
  • Reply 14 of 15
    yeah, I kinda came across a bit heavy handed as well, my apologies, all viewpoints accepted!



    We should probably talk about sub pixel rendering (praise be the woz) on the ipod elsewhere, but I hadn't thought of that and I assume it doesn't currently use it.



    I'm only a layman typographer, so I guess that other people are more qualified to talk about readability of Lucida as a screenfont. Myriad certainly looks slightly more rounded, less serif-y (spot the made-up language) and to my eyes more attractive.



    One other thing occurred to me. Is the ipod screen significantly different in resolution to a standard display, say a cinema display?



    I don't expect it to vary in res between ipod and cinema screen significantly, but if I'm wrong then I'm barking up the wrong tree anyway about transferring Myriad to OSX as the system font.



    If the ipod screen is significantly higher res than the cinema screen, maybe we're comparing apples and oranges - ie, although the text is 6mm high on both an ipod and a mac, if it's 18 pixels on the ipod but only 12px on the Mac, the cute antialiasing would mean nothing, as scaling the res up to a Mac would make the font an awful lot more clunky (or too big if you don't scale the font).



    At least until OSX goes fully resolution independent (and the beginning of that is coming in tiger).



    I could try and do the maths (65k pixels on a 2" screen = ??dpi), but what the hell. And you guys should go and vote!
  • Reply 15 of 15
    iPod Photo: 220 x 176 pixel resolution, 0.18-mm dot pitch

    iPod mini: 138 x 110 pixel resolution, 0.22-mm dot pitch

    iPod: 160 x 128 pixel resolution, 0.24-mm dot pitch



    (note the mini screen is physically smaller than the other two: 2 inch versus 1.67 inch diagonal)



    And for comparison:



    Cinama Displays: 0.258 mm

    Cinama Displays (30"): 0.25 mm
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