New York Systems

I'm David. I live in Astoria. During the day I work at a startup. Other times I visit bookstores.
This blog is my curio collection, sort of. I'll have a place of my own for essays... someday.

Posts tagged #helvetica

You and me both, Kanye. You and me both.

Roboto vs. Helvetica


Google announced the mouthful known as “Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich” today. The first bullet point of their presentation was a new system-wide font, Roboto. John Gruber quickly pointed out what had caught my eye as well: Roboto sure looks a lot like Helvetica, the typeface so famous they made a movie about it.

Notably, Helvetica was the default font of iOS until Apple switched to Helvetica Neue last year. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, as Picasso allegedly said: “good artists copy, great artists steal”.

You be the judge: here’s an animation comparing the two.
Click & it will stop so you can manually cycle through at your own pace.


A solid black t-shirt, with the word HELVETICA across the chest in white block Arial.

(EDIT: I knew that wasn’t that clever of an idea; it already exists. There’s a Comic Sans version floating around as well, which I’ll spare your eyes a link to.)

You look at some of the copycat logos and gain a fresh appreciation for how much better Helvetica is than Arial.


Typographical porn on a pillow. Also on the site: properly-kerned underwear.

"So You Need A Typeface" via