Design & UX
Article

The Story Behind SitePoint’s New Typeface: Roboto

By Kat Bak

You may have recently landed on SitePoint or SitePoint Premium and paused for a moment, tilted your head slightly and thought “Huh, something is… different.”

You’re right. Something is different, and we’re a bit excited about it. Drumroll, please…

As part of a gradual design refresh we’re conducting here at SitePoint, we’ve refreshed the typeface we’re using across the brand. Welcome, Roboto 🎉🎉🎉

The Roboto font on SitePoint

A Subtle Change, for Good Reasons

Even though not everyone can tell the difference (including our Head of Content, Ophélie, who calls herself “font-blind”), we didn’t just change to Roboto because it looks pretty. We had previously been using Helvetica Neue across the board – it’s tried and true, safe and clean. Unfortunately, we ran into problems when staff and contributors around the world, on different machines, didn’t always have access to the font. Helvetica Neue is a beautiful font, but it costs a fair bit — it wasn’t feasible!

After a flurry of conversations within our team, we landed on Roboto. It’s a largely geometric (falling into what is referred to as the ‘neo-grotesque sans-serif’ family, like Helvetica Neue) but retains gentle curves and open counters which helps with readability, while also providing a friendly personality to the typeface. Of great importance, too, is the fact that Roboto is a Google Font under the Apache 2.0 License. That means that any and all of our staff and contributors, around the world, can find and use it without hassle. Nice!

We’re really loving it so far. What do you think?

  • http://834rd.com/ Kevin Pliester

    Good choice!

  • James Edward Lewis

    I was fine with the old system, where the elite Mac users got to see Helvetica as intended, and the Windows and Linux plebs like me just saw Arial, which renders better at small sizes than Helvetica Neue; the advantage is that we don’t need to wait so long for the webfont to download.

  • Elio Qoshi

    Love it! Great choice and really excited to see SitePoint adopting open fonts :)

    • OphelieLechat

      We thought you might like that decision :)

    • http://www.katjabak.com/ Katja Bak

      Your advice (and list of favourite fonts) were greatly appreciated, believe me!

  • http://www.katjabak.com/ Katja Bak

    Great minds think alike, hey!

    I know what you mean though. It’s a running joke here – “Kat has provided us with a design, but that was two days ago, so she probably doesn’t like it anymore!” :P

  • http://rundtomwp.dk/ Holger Govertz

    Font blind, thats the name for it, I’m font blind and happy to know I’m not the only one :)

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