Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Helvetica, eww

I updated my Mac to Yosemite today and found myself disappointed with its system font, Helvetica Neue. Eww. The font may look good with a Retina display — I wouldn’t know. On my MacBook Pro, it looks plug ugly. The smaller it is, the worse it looks.

The good news is that it’s ridiculously easy to switch back to the familiar and highly readable Lucida Grande. GitHub has a page with the necessary download. Thank you, schreibenstein, whoever you are. Another GitHub page has files for Fira Sans. Thank you, Jens Kutilek.

Yosemite’s new Finder icon makes the old one look downright dignified. Not an improvement. And the greyish menus make OS X 10.10 feel more like 10.4 (Tiger). Yosemite’s bright blue folder icons make me think of Breaking Bad, but these days everything makes me think of Breaking Bad. Elaine and I are blasting our way through its six seasons.

What I like about Yosemite: things look (mostly) brighter, cleaner. Coming out of sleep, the computer seems to connect to wireless more quickly. And the redesigned Spotlight is very fast. Bravo for that.

Related reading
Apple Yosemite Finder Icon Sucks (Wallydavid)
Helvetica sucks (Erik Spiekermann)
How to not send Spotlight data to Apple (Cult of Mac)
Why Apple’s New Font Won’t Work On Your Desktop (Tobias Frere-Jones)

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

Funnily enough, someone on a list posted how much she preferred the new system font. Everything seems to be a matchup to iOS. I'm just waiting for the brain implant. Or is that Google Glass?

Michael Leddy said...

There’s no consensus about the font, I know. When all Macs have Retina displays, maybe things’ll be different, but I still think it’s much less elegant and much less readable than Lucida Grande.

I’m not gonna take the chip, or the watch, or the Glass. Ugh!