Apple's new typeface is called San Francisco

almost 9 years ago from , Designer

Apple released WatchKit today, with the WatchKit design guidelines the new font is being distributed.


The typeface is called San Francisco Display and it comes in 9 weights.

According to license agreement, it can be only used with Apple Products.

You can check it out here -https://developer.apple.com/watchkit/


  • Matthew R. MillerMatthew R. Miller, almost 9 years ago

    Feels like a missed opportunity for Sans Francisco.

    128 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 9 years ago

    pretty big update to the original San Francisco font. original

    39 points
  • Jonathan SuhJonathan Suh, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    Telling comparison of San Francisco and Roboto:


    16 points
    • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, almost 9 years ago

      Both are heavily influenced by DIN right?

      6 points
      • Jonathan SuhJonathan Suh, almost 9 years ago

        Definitely, but the Roboto vs San Francisco match seems a bit too close for comfort.

        1 point
        • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

          How come?

          Edit: explanation why I'm probing for more as I was probably flagged as a troll but the original commenter :-p

          Google and Apple are using house fonts that are heavily based on DIN, probably because DIN fits a lot of the criteria the companies took into consideration when picking a starting point for a watch (contextual constraints like various lighting situations, distance of read, likely screen pixel density, etc).

          In Google's case it has been tweaked to be used on a variety of devices down to the very small (watch). In Apple's case, they made this font to be used on the watch only, as far as we know so far.

          Based on that assumption, I think both companies have done a great job for the user by designing a font that meets all of the criteria that have set out to meet, instead of differentiating for the sake of differentiation on a 'brand' level.

          Speaking of the 'brand' thing, it's also the case that Google's guidelines call for bright, colorful and 'light' feeling backings for text (on Android Wear most notification text would be a dark gray, per their guidelines). For the Apple Watch, it's almost all white on black. The two brands couldn't look much more... um... black and white... next to each other.

          I think the users win here. No matter which watch you pick (or both!) you're getting something thoughtfully considered from the designers.

          11 points
        • c kizerc kizer, almost 9 years ago

          If you overlaid any DIN style font at 18pts it's going to match within 10px as well. Not very close. Though I do think the font looks more android like.

          It's more like Apple's original Mac OS 7 font.

          1 point
    • Phil RauPhil Rau, almost 9 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 8 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
  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    Download Apples new typeface! :D

    It can only be used for Apple :/

    4 points
  • Cody IddingsCody Iddings, almost 9 years ago

    So DIN SCHRIFTEN was originally used for signs in Germany, no?

    Roboto is used for Robots, obviously.

    San Francisco - only people in SF can use the Apple Watch!

    3 points
  • Roly ReyesRoly Reyes, almost 9 years ago

    I tried using it as a system font on Yosemite. It looks pretty good! But it has the same issues that other replaced fonts have. The descenders being cut off in Spotlight is the most glaring of these. Don't know if I'll keep it, but I certainly hope San Francisco makes its way to iOS and Mac by whatever we see at WWDC next year.

    If anyone wants to give it a shot, here's a link to the files. Just place them in "~/Library/ Fonts" and reboot.


    3 points
  • Crampa ...Crampa ..., almost 9 years ago

    According to license agreement, it can be only used with Apple Products.


    2 points
  • Artiom DashinskyArtiom Dashinsky, almost 9 years ago

    It seems that Apple removed it from the website, here is a link to the font + PSD files they published previously http://cl.ly/1H462Q2X1N45

    1 point
  • Paul LPaul L, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    This is awesome! Does anyone have a mirror link to download the font yet?

    Edit: I totally missed it. Someone already posted a download link on the main page. Here it is incase anyone missed it:


    1 point
  • Divya BhargavaDivya Bhargava, over 8 years ago

    Hi, Can the San Francisco font be used for app designing for iphone as well ? iOS 8..

    0 points
  • Joshua HibbertJoshua Hibbert, almost 9 years ago

    Just to clarify a little, the typeface is called San Francisco and there are two variants:

    "Choose the San Francisco Text font for text that is 19 points or smaller. Choose the San Francisco Display font for text that is 20 points or larger."


    0 points
  • Peiran TanPeiran Tan, almost 9 years ago

    SF is clearly more DIN-inspired than Roboto, which I think has more connections to News Gothic. Details set Roboto and SF even further apart, especially the capital /G. The small /a and /e are also more well done than Roboto, despite its V2 fixes.

    And, I don’t know if Roboto has built this in, but SF has taken it to the nuances of optical sizing. Helvetica for Yosemite is definitely a mishap, but I think the typographic guys at Apple has done a decent enough job. Of course this is merely judging from letterforms and there are definitely the technological aspects Apple has to deal with before Apple Watch goes out.

    0 points
  • Culita AioaneiCulita Aioanei, almost 9 years ago

    This typefaces looks like a bloated Helvetica variant. Right?

    0 points
  • Milkr Chan, almost 9 years ago

    only new font style? not the user interface...

    0 points
    • Nirzar P, almost 9 years ago

      The design guidelines comes with PSDs for common templates used on Apple Watch. Font family is part of the whole thing.

      0 points
  • Seth KaskySeth Kasky, almost 9 years ago

    Anyone replace Helvetica in Yosemite with this yet?

    0 points