September 30, 2008
Droid: Font of the Future?
Helvetica has a new digital rival.
The much-hyped new G1 smartphone from T-Mobile, which will run Google’s open Android platform, appears to be the first viable alternative to the indomitable iPhone—and, perhaps, to the recent near-ubiquitous use of Helvetica. As Forbes detailed last Friday, the G1 uses the Droid font, the result of a two-year collaboration between Google and the typeface company Ascender. Droid was intended to split the difference between the cutesy primary-colors seen in Google’s logo and a severe, squared-off “techno” font. Steve Mattison, Ascender’s chief type designer, says: “There was a fine line between wanting the font to have character but not cause too much commotion.”