I wouldn’t call it a Helvetica rip-off (like Arial), but Android 4’s new system font Roboto is definitely a lot more Helvetica-esque than Droid Sans (the old Android font) was. I’d say it’s like a cross between Helvetica and DIN, but inherited more of Helvetica’s genes. Here’s a comparison I just whipped up between the two — each word set once in each font. (Helvetica on the top, Roboto on the bottom, in case you can’t tell the difference.) I doubt most people could tell them apart, and the uppercase R is almost shameless.
Definitely a better-looking typeface than Droid Sans, though, that’s for sure.
★ Tuesday, 18 October 2011