• Phil RauPhil Rau, 8 years ago

    First of all, that format is going to make MOST sans-serifs look like they're ripping each other off... 12px black on red? Of course our eye is going to blend the two fonts into a single set of letters and tell us they are the same. For the purposes of comparison, this image is useless.

    Secondly, sans serifs designed for readability on small screens SHOULD look the same. That doesn't mean they were designed based on each other, or that one was a starting block for another. It seems likely that similar user research would lead to similar fonts when both are trying to do the same thing.

    Thirdly, font design is all about the tiny details. Sure, any idiot with Illustrator could make Roboto slightly more squat, but it takes a long time to make all the details right. I'm sure both Roboto and San Francisco were poured over for ages to make the details right, and this comparison doesn't do justice to those details in the slightest.

    7 points
    • Brian Nelson, over 7 years ago

      This is a fairly standard and well-accepted method for comparing typefaces. I disagree that it's obvious that your "eye is going to blend the two fonts into a single set of letters..."

      Why should sans serifs designed for readability on small screens look the same? One can easily see why any two would be similar, but it's not true that all must be.

      I don't think the JMD's intention was to say that San Francisco was based off Roboto. He was merely pointing out how similar they are, which makes sense given that they took inspiration from a couple of the same faces.

      Furthermore, there wasn't any implication that Apple didn't put time and care into developing the San Francisco.

      0 points