Typography of Apple Inc

Apple Inc. has used a variety of typefaces in its marketing, operating systems, and industrial design.


For at least 18 years, Apple's corporate typeface was a custom variant of the ITC Garamond typeface, called Apple Garamond. It was used alongside the Apple logo for product names on computers, in countless ads, printed materials and on the company website. Since 2001, Apple has gradually shifted towards using Myriad in its marketing.

Motter Tektura

Prior to the first Macintosh, alongside the apple symbol, Apple used a typeface called Motter Tektura,[1] which was designed in Austria by Othmar Motter of Vorarlberger Graphik in 1975 and distributed by Letraset - and also famously used by Reebok.[2] At the time, the typeface was considered new and modern. One modification to the typeface was the removal of the dot over the i. The lowercase "s" was also modified for the label on the Disk II 5.25-inch floppy disk drive.

According to the logo designer, Rob Janoff, the typeface was selected for its playful qualities and techno look, which were in line with Apple's mission statement of making high technology accessible to anyone. Janoff designed the logo in 1976 while working with Palo Alto marketer Regis McKenna. The Apple logo’s bite mark was originally designed to fit snugly with the Motter Tektura "a".

In the early 1980s, the logo was simplified by removing computer ınc. from the logo. Motter Tektura was also used for the Apple II logo. This typeface has sometimes been mislabeled as Cupertino, a similar bitmap font probably created to mimic Motter Tektura.

Apple Garamond

Upon the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984, Apple adopted a new corporate font called Apple Garamond. It was a variation of the classic Garamond typeface, both narrower and having a taller x-height. Specifically, ITC Garamond (created by Tony Stan in 1977) was condensed to 80% of its normal width. Presumably, Apple felt that the existing ITC Garamond Condensed, at 64%, was too narrow. Bitstream condensed the font and subtly adjusted the stroke widths and performed the hinting required to create a font that was then delivered to Apple as Postscript font "apgaram."

In cases when the Apple logo was accompanied by text, it was always set in Apple Garamond. Aside from the company name, most of Apple's advertising and marketing slogans such as "Think different." used the font as well.

This typeface was virtually synonymous with Apple for almost two decades and formed a large part of Apple's brand recognition. It was not only used in conjunction with the logo, but also in manuals, ads, and to label products with model names.

Apple has not released the true Apple Garamond font. ITC briefly sold ITC Garamond Narrow—Apple Garamond without the custom hinting—as part of its Apple Font Pack in the 1990s. A version of the font was also included under a different name in some versions of Mac OS X prior to 10.3 as it was used by the Setup Assistant installation program.


In 2002, Apple gradually started using a variant of the Adobe Myriad font family in its marketing and packaging. As new revisions of its products were released, the text changed from the serif Apple Garamond to the sans-serif Myriad Apple. The family's bolds are used for headlines, and other weights are also used accordingly. The Myriad font family was designed by Robert Slimbach and Carol Twombly for Adobe. Adobe's most recent version of Myriad is Myriad Pro, which has some additional enhancements and character set extensions, but is not significantly changed in design. Myriad Apple, a modification produced by Galápagos Design Group, incorporates minor spacing and weight differences from the standard varieties, and includes Apple-specific characters such as the company logo. In 2006, Myriad Apple was superseded by Myriad Set, which contains extra ligatures and other minor changes. While Myriad Set is for most titles and eye-catching slogans, some text is set in Helvetica Neue.

Although originally promoted as Myriad, the 5th generation iPod and iPod nano feature a bitmap font known as Podium Sans which is missing Myriad's trademark features such as the splayed 'M' and distinctive 'y'.


The latest font Helvetica Neue Ultra Light is widely used by Apple since the release of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and including the launch of iOS 7 in September, 2013. As a result of Jony Ive being apointed Apple's Senior Vice President of Design in October 2012, this most recent typeface is now the font employed uniformly across the new operating system iOS 7, a redesigned user interface with Helvetica Neue Ultra Light being a prominent change in style. This style as part of the software is also featured in advertising the new iPhones. The older iPhone hardware still uses normal Helvetica as the system font, while devices with Retina displays use Helvetica Neue.[3]

Other fonts used in Apple's marketing

Prior to adopting the bitten Apple as its logo, Apple used a complex logo featuring Isaac Newton sitting below an apple tree. The words APPLE COMPUTER CO. were drawn on a ribbon banner ornamenting the picture frame. The frame itself held a quotation from Wordsworth: "Newton...A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought...Alone." The logo was hand drawn and thus did not use an established font. However, the type is similar to Caslon with some idiosyncratic details, such as an R deviating from the general style.

In the marketing of the Newton/Notepad/MessagePad PDA, Apple chose to use Gill Sans instead of the regular Apple Garamond. Gill Sans Regular was used in the logo, for the model name on the computer, the keyboard and in advertisement materials, though it was not used as a screen font (except for as part of the Newton logo). Gill Sans was originally designed by Eric Gill around 1927–29 for the Monotype Corporation.


Apple's keyboards have long been labeled with Univers 57 (Condensed Oblique), a design choice by Apple's industrial design partner, Frog Design. This began in 1984 with the Apple IIc, which had tilted front-panel buttons to match the inclination of the lettering.

Univers was eventually replaced on Apple's keyboards by VAG Rounded, which has been used on all iBook models, 2003 and later PowerBooks, MacBooks, MacBook Pros and Apple Keyboards since August 2007. The font was developed by Sedley Place Ltd. for German car manufacturer Volkswagen and was used in much of their marketing materials.[4]

Fonts used in other products

Apple's earliest computers had extremely limited graphical capabilities and could originally only display uppercase ASCII using a set bitmap font. The IIc and Enhanced Apple IIe supported 40 or 80 columns of text and an extended character set called MouseText. It was used to simulate simple graphical user interfaces, similar to the use of ANSI X3.64. The latter versions of Apple IIGS system software and Finder used very rectangular pixels (640x200) thus requiring a stout, 8 pt bitmap font called Shaston 8 as the system font (menus, window titles and so on). Shaston was described in Apple IIGS technote #41 as "a modified Helvetica", but the similarities are not striking. The fonts of the original Macintosh were also available for the GS.

In 1993, Apple's Human Interface Group designed the typeface Espy Sans specifically for on-screen use. It was first used for the Newton OS GUI and later integrated into Apple's ill-fated eWorld online service. The Newton used the font Apple Casual to display text entered using the Rosetta handwriting recognition engine in the Newton. The same font found its way into the Rosetta-derived writing recognition system in Mac OS X—Inkwell. The TrueType font can be made available to any application by copying the font file, which is embedded in a system component, to any font folder. (See List of fonts in Mac OS X for more information.) The Newton logo featured the Gill Sans typeface, which was also used for the Newton keyboard.

Apple's eWorld also used the larger bold condensed bitmap font eWorld Tight for headlines. The metrics of eWorld Tight were based on Helvetica Ultra Compressed.

Lucida Grande is the standard font used in Mac OS X user interface elements such as menus, dialog boxes and other widgets.

When released in 2001, Apple's iPod music player reused the bitmap font Chicago from the original Macintosh GUI. Later versions of the iPod drew from the larger character repertoire of the TrueType Chicago, adding a number of characters not present in the bitmap Chicago, such as Greek and Cyrillic. Even though the screen supports grayscale, the characters were not anti-aliased.

The iPod mini uses the typeface originally designed for the Newton, Espy Sans. In the fourth-generation color iPod (formerly iPod Photo), Podium Sans had displaced Chicago as the user interface font. On newer models, such as the 3G iPod nano, iPod classic and iPod touch Podium Sans has been replaced with Helvetica Neue Bold, the same typeface used throughout the iPhone user interface.

See also


  • Apple Computer:
    • Fonts on Mac OS X. Retrieved 2004-09-25.
    • (January 29, 2003). Using and Managing Fonts in Mac OS X. PDF. Retrieved 2004-10-01.
    • (October 8, 2003). Fonts in Mac OS X PDF. Retrieved 2004-10-04.
    • Font Support in the Mac OS. Retrieved 2004-10-01.
    • (November 11, 2002). LastResort Font. Retrieved 2004-10-03.
    • (June 10, 2004). Sharing Fonts Between Mac OS X and Classic. Retrieved 2004-10-22.
    • (September 14, 2000). The Zapf table. Retrieved 2004-10-22.
    • (1996-07-06). Inside Macintosh — Text — Built-in Script Support (IM: Tx). Retrieved 2004-10-27.
    • (November 1990). Apple II GS TN #41 — Font Family Numbers. Retrieved 2004-10-28.
    • (December 19, 2002). ROMAN.TXT, MacRoman to Unicode map. Retrieved 2004-11-09.
  • Jaques Moury Beauchap. Rob Janoff — Graphic Designer, Author of the first logo for Apple Computer. Retrieved 2004-10-28.
  • Multilingual Macintosh Support. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Erfert Fenton (October 1994). Inside QuickDraw GX Fonts, MacWorld. 1997 archived version, retrieved 2004-11-01.
  • FreeType. Freetype and Patents. Retrieved 2004-10-29.
  • Nobumi Iyanaga (2000-09-26). Unicode and Mac OS, and Code converters. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Tony Kavadias (2004-07-24). Apple II User Interfaces. Retrieved 2004-10-28.
  • Steve Gibson (2003-04-10). The Origins of Sub-Pixel Font Rendering. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Jens Hofman Hansen (July 2, 2002). Apple-logoets historie. Retrieved 2004-09-22.
  • Susan Kare. World Class Cities. Retrieved 2004-09-25.
  • John Kheyt (2003-05-23). The Devil's Advocate — MS's ClearType KOs Apple's Quartz In The Lightweight Division. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Microsoft (2003-03-12). Press release: Microsoft Announces Expanded Access To Extensive Intellectual Property Portfolio. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Jonathan Ploudre (June 1, 2000). Macintosh System Fonts. Retrieved 2004-09-21.
  • Ed Tracy (1998-10-15). Apple and the History of Personal Computer Design. Retrieved 2004-10-27.
  • Norman Walsh (August 14, 1996). comp.fonts FAQ: Macintosh Info. Retrieved 2004-09-21.
  • XvsXP. XvsXP.com — Fonts. Retrieved 2004-10-27.

External links

  • Advanced Typography with Mac OS X Tiger
  • Text & Fonts Apple's typography developer site
  • TrueType Reference Manual
  • LastResort Font
    • Full LastResort glyph table
    • LastResort glyphs: — 5 pages PDF
  • Microsoft Office 2004.
  • Microsoft's ClearType web site
  • Fondu – program to convert (and separate) Mac OS X dfont data fork files to TrueType, OpenType, Type 1, and Glyph Bitmap parts
  • MacKeys — online tool to convert Apple keyboard keys to their Unicode equivalents (e.g. Cmd → ⌘)
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