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iOS 7 Camera App

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Jun 12th, 2013. Artwork published in 2013.
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

The built-in apps in Apple’s newly announced iOS 7 use Neue Helvetica almost entirely. This is not a change from previous versions of the OS (other than a system-wide switch to lighter weights), but the typeface is all the more front-and-center in iOS 7 now that the depth, chrome, and button outlines have faded away.

There are a couple of exceptions from this Helvetication, however. One is the Newsstand app icon, and another is in the UI for the new Camera app. While the rest of the system uses Helvetica for buttons and navigation, settings in the Camera app are conspicuously exempt from the overarching style. At the moment, the type appears to be a slightly modified DIN 1451 Mittelschrift, the mechanical typeface created as a standard for German signage and industry — though they may have based the controls on one of the other (more typographically optimized) variants of DIN.

I assume the goal here was to simulate the typical routed lettering on a classic metal-bodied camera, such as a Leica. The allusion is subtle and effective, but this is a curious departure from Apple’s new stand against skeuomorphism. Perhaps there are certain brands (like Braun and Leica) that are simply too loved by Ive and company not to be emulated.

iOS 7 Camera app from intro video.jpg
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
iOS 7 Camera app from intro video 2.jpg
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

5 Comments on “iOS 7 Camera App”

  1. Jun 13th, 2013  11:27 am

    Maybe Apple should have used DIN for everything in iOS7.

  2. Fitoschido says:
    Jun 16th, 2013  12:29 pm

    Come on Apple, this is ridiculous. As if the Camera app was developed by a third party.

    Overall, iOS 7’s visual design and typographic choices are dissapointing. This should demonstrate that one can’t be a great designer for everything-—Jonathat Ive might have designed great hardware, but he knows nothing about software/interaction/visual design.

  3. Joe S says:
    Sep 30th, 2013  1:06 pm

    “Nothing?” Not any thing? Not even just a little teeny tiny bit about software/visual/interactive design? Just this.

  4. Oct 11th, 2013  1:49 am

    Jony Ive recently helped design a Leica. This further reinforces my assumption that he has an affinity for the kind of engraved metal lettering that is related to DIN. Though the style used on the Leica (much more square) seems to be custom to that brand.

  5. Sep 11th, 2014  1:46 am

    It’s easy to see Jony Ive’s hand in the typography at Apple, looking at DIN in the Camera app, the Leica type (not Apple, but still Ive), and now the Apple Watch font, which is supposedly Apple’s new “Apple Sans” (which will hopefully find its way to iOS and OS X quickly; the inconsistency is already offputting to me).

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