Roboto

Roboto
Roboto Font Sample.svg
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationNeo-grotesque
Designer(s)Christian Robertson
Commissioned byGoogle
Date created2011
Date released2011
LicenseApache License
Roboto (typeface).svg
Sample
Latest release versionv2.138
Latest release dateAugust 3, 2017

Roboto (/rˈbɒt./)[1] is a neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface family developed by Google as the system font for its mobile operating system Android, and released in 2011 for Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".[2]

The entire font family has been licensed under the Apache license.[3] In 2014, Roboto was redesigned for Android 5.0 "Lollipop".

Use[edit]

Roboto is the default font on Android, and since 2013, other Google services such as Google+, Google Play, YouTube, Google Maps,[4] and mobile Google Search.

In 2017 Roboto was used on the LCD countdown clocks of the New York City Subway's B Division lines.

Roboto Bold is the default font in Unreal Engine 4, and in Kodi.[5] Roboto Condensed is used to display Information on European versions of Nintendo Switch packaging, including physical releases of games.

Development[edit]

Android 5.1.1 on a Google Nexus 7 (2012), featuring the redesigned Roboto font

The font was designed entirely in-house by Christian Robertson who previously had released an expanded Ubuntu-Title font through his personal type foundry Betatype.[6][7] The font was officially made available for free download on January 12, 2012, on the newly launched Android Design website.

Compared to Android's previous system font, the humanist sans-serif Droid, Roboto belongs to the neo-grotesque genre of sans-serif typefaces. It includes Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black weights with matching oblique styles rather than true italics. It also includes condensed styles in Light, Regular and Bold, also with matching oblique designs.

Redesign[edit]

In 2014, Matias Duarte announced at Google I/O that Roboto was significantly redesigned for Android 5.0 "Lollipop".[7][8] Punctuation marks and the tittles in the lowercase "i" and "j" were changed from square to rounded, and the entire typeface was made “slightly wider and rounder” with many changes in details.[7][8]

Reception[edit]

Google developed the font to be "modern, yet approachable" and "emotional",[9][10] but Roboto received mixed reviews on its release. Joshua Topolsky, Editor-In-Chief of technology news and media network The Verge, describes the font as "clean and modern, but not overly futuristic – not a science fiction font".[11] However, typography commentator Stephen Coles of Typographica called the initial release of Roboto "a Four-headed Frankenfont", describing it as a "hodgepodge" of different typographic styles which do not work well together.[7] Other type design professionals called out obvious errors in accented glyphs, while John Gruber called the font a "Helvetica ripoff".[12][13]

Language support[edit]

Roboto supports Latin, Greek (partial) and Cyrillic scripts.[14]

On Android, the Noto font is used for languages not supported by Roboto, including Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai and Hindi.[15]

Derivatives[edit]

Roboto Slab[edit]

Roboto Slab
Roboto Slab.tiff
CategorySerif
ClassificationSlab serif
Designer(s)Christian Robertson
Commissioned byGoogle
Date releasedMarch 2013
Latest release version1.100263

Roboto Slab is a slab serif font based on Roboto. It was introduced in March 2013, as the default font in Google's note-taking service Google Keep[16] (the font was changed to the sans-serif Roboto in 2018[17]). It is available in four weights: thin, light, regular and bold. However, no oblique versions were released for it.

Roboto Mono[edit]

Roboto Mono is a monospace font based on Roboto. It is available in five weights: thin, light, regular, medium and bold, with oblique stylings for each weight.[18]

Heebo[edit]

Heebo is an extension of Roboto that includes Hebrew characters.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Making Material Design: Refining Roboto". Google Design. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Isaac, Mike (October 19, 2011). "Google Unwraps Ice Cream Sandwich, the Next-Generation Android OS". Wired. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "License for font family 'Roboto'". Font Squirrel. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Graham-Smith, Darien (May 17, 2013). "Hands on with the new Google Maps". Alphr. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Betzen, Nathan (June 5, 2012). "XBMC 11.0 – May Cycle (updated)". Kodi. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Christian Robertson. Interface, type designer". Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Coles, Stephen (October 19, 2011). "Roboto Was a Four-headed Frankenfont". Typographica. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Download: New Roboto for Android L and Material Design". Droid Life. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  9. ^ O'Brien, Terrence (October 18, 2011). "Roboto font and the new design philosophy of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich". Engadget. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Android Ice Cream Sandwich: Top 10 features that make it delicious". MSN. October 19, 2011. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012.
  11. ^ Topolsky, Joshua (October 18, 2011). "Exclusive: Matias Duarte on the philosophy of Android, and an in-depth look at Ice Cream Sandwich". The Verge. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Koeberlin, Christoph (October 19, 2011). "My Roboto-favourites, spontaneously: Ħ ǻ ę į ø ß ʼn". Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Gruber, John (October 19, 2011). "Roboto vs. Helvetica". Daring Fireball. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Robertson, Christian (2015). "Roboto". Google Fonts. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "Typography - Style". Material Design. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  16. ^ Spradlin, Liam (March 27, 2013). "Closer Look: Google Keep Actually Shipped With A New (Serif) Font – Introducing Roboto Slab". Android Police. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  17. ^ Staff (2018-10-18). "Google Keep Notes gets Material Design, brings sans-serif Roboto font and solid white background". BGR India. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  18. ^ Robertson, Christian. "Roboto Mono". Google Fonts. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  19. ^ "Heebo open source Hebrew font". GitHub. Retrieved November 18, 2017.

External links[edit]