Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Better Screen, Same Typography

Khoi Vinh:

In one of the elaborately produced, incredibly self-congratulatory promotional videos that the company released to announce the arrival of iPhone 4, one particularly outrageous moment stuck out for me. At about three minutes into the video, senior vice president for iPhone software Scott Forstall extolls the virtues of the Retina Display by declaring that “The text… is just perfect!” Meanwhile, the central image in the video at just that moment is this little typographic calamity…

Even on the larger iPad screen, the typography in iBooks needs work: hyphenation, ragged right, or something.

Update (2010-06-21): iBooks 1.1 adds ragged right.

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I totally agree, and I can’t help but wonder: how much of iOS’s poor typography comes from Apple’s use of HTML/WebKit as the technology behind the rendering? Apple is using WebKit throughout, and certainly in your iBooks example—would things be better if they used Quartz, like they do in OS X?

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