For many years, Apple.com has been almost completely steadfast in its use of Myriad for headlines and Lucida Sans (Lucida Grande on the Mac) for text and other small stuff. Lucida Sans is, in many ways, a good screen text alternative for Myriad: very similar in its humanist structure, but designed specifically for the screen, with looser spacing. But it does seem strange Apple hasn’t moved to Myriad for all text on the site, especially now that hinted webfonts are available. Perhaps it doesn’t meet their screen optimization standards, but they aren’t even using it for the big headlines — all of those are still images. Apple is one of the last tech companies to hold out on using webfonts on its corporate site.
Today Apple broke tradition by introducing a third type family to the site. Century Schoolbook spells out a quote from a Wall Street Journal iPhone review, presumeably referencing newspaper type. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve seen a serif on Apple.com.
My guess is that all of this will change someday soon when Helvetica replaces Lucida, as it has in Apple’s software. Myriad’s fate is more up in the air. It is part of Apple’s marketing (not product) identity that hasn’t shown any signs of shifting, so perhaps its days aren’t as numbered.