Classification of Roboto

Core0's picture

I wonder how Roboto should be classified. Is it a grotesk, a geometric sans serif, a humanist sans serif? In any case it is a lineal sans serif, but I am wondering about the contextual category.

If you ask me, it’s a hybrid, with classicist grotesk (lowercase a and as, and uppercase S, C, G) with elements of a humanist sans serif (lowercase e, g, etc.). What do you think?

Core0's picture

Interesting. I think I heard about this article from someone telling me a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t know the source and couldn’t find it.

With what exactly don’t you agree, the harsh judgement of its author, my comments above, or the ugliness (or beauty) of Roboto?

hrant's picture

Well, one thing I don't agree with is obsessing over classification. :-) But mostly -like I said in my Typographica comment- when I see it on my Galaxy Note 2 it just works - at least in that context. Hunting down "historical impurity" is for inquisitionists. Everything is hybrid.

There's also something quite awesome about Roboto: it's under the Apache license, not OFL; the former allows the selling of modifications. In the end this means more designers can justify helping more people.


Core0's picture

I posted it in context of my own work on Hikari and criticism my announcement received, about it being a “neo grot”. I found it refreshing and interesting that other designers are not caring too much about classification and more about design principles they apply, a result of research and conclusions they draw while examining the environment where their fonts will be used. I find this approach similar to my own goals, as I am designing Hikari for screen applications and not just for print. I have even thought about a user interface version for mobile devices.

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