Tag Archives: San Francisco

Apple’s San Francisco font: adding double-decker g’s and humanist a’s

The letters "gaga" using both original and alternate a's and g's in Apple's San Francisco font.

Apple’s new San Francisco font is going to be a vast improvement on Helvetica as a system font in iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. But it features a double-story a without a double-decker, looptail, or eyeglass g. It’s always seemed right to me for a font to have either both, or neither, of these special letters.

Turns out the font world disagrees with my intuition. Futura is the only one of my favorite fonts with a single-story a, and while Gill Sans, Trebuchet, Times, Palatino, Optima and American Typewriter all have both double-story as and double-decker gs (left side), Helvetica, Arial, Courier, Verdana, and Lucida Grande (right side) all have mixed double-story as with simple humanist gs.

The letters a and g in various popular fonts, showing the range of variation.

However, I still wanted to see a more Futura-like and a more Gill-Sans-like San Francisco, and although the font is only available at the moment to Apple developers, I was able to get a copy, and I’ve made alternate glyphs.

Here’s the original:

The word "hamburgefons" in Apple's San Francisco font.

And here it is with a simple humanist a:

The word "hamburgefons" in Apple's San Francisco font, with an alternate humanist a.

And here it is again with a double-decker g:

The word "hamburgefons" in Apple's San Francisco font, with an alternate double-decker g.

And just for fun, here are SVG versions of my alternate a and alternate g, and an animated version over on tumblr.

Update: I hereby release it all into the public domain. Apple, if you’re listening, feel free to incorporate one or the other of these into San Francisco.

Dating and demographics

Why There Are No Girls In San Francisco vs. Where Are The Men in San Francisco explore both sides of our particular dating scene. I’m sure both sides could find something to lament in this National Geographic map from a few years back:


After helping one friend usher random drunk belligerent frat boy douche-bags out of her housewarming party last night, and talking to another friend at three A.M. while she waited for San Francisco General Hospital to treat her Australian houseguest for injuries sustained in a North Beach bar brawl, I’m thinking that purple dot is quite a liability for our fair 7×7.

San Francisco Walkability and other infographics

This map of San Francisco’s “Walkability” by Lee Byron uses a similar blobby algorithm to The Neighborhood Project.

I want one of his Centerclocks for my wall. He’s also got a nifty Rivers of the World map, and he’s the guy behind the NY Times’ Olympic Medals Cartogram and Presidential Polling graphic (which thankfully shows Obama in the lead in a majority of the polls).