Google Brings Back Serifs, Retro Style Fonts

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Minimalist is out. Chunky is in. That’s the message conveyed to designers everywhere in Google’s announcement to add serifs to its well known Roboto font.

The design twist adds a decidedly retro look to typeface using this font style. And it goes beyond merely adding serifs to Roboto letters. According to Google UX Manager, Rob Giampietro, each letter was redrawn from scratch to create a font that “thinks about Roboto, but is a new and original design.”

If Google is using it, it’s definitely trending. Chunkier, retro style serif typefaces are showing up all over, in stark contrast to years of san serif, minimalist domination.

Not only has the pendulum swung, but serif fonts are easier to read due to their letter shapes being more distinct – a fortunate development for readers, who spend more time than ever scrolling through text.  According to research, an average user in 1996 spent less than thirty minutes browsing the web in an entire month. Now we spend an average of seven hours every day. Easy on the eyes is a definite plus.

Chunky serif styles are also touted for making attractive headings in all types of print and digital design scenarios. The creator of Roboto Serif said his goal was to produce a font where one could engage in immersive journalism or novel type reading and not complain of eye fatigue.

The new font is unsurprisingly called Roboto Serif, designed in collaboration with Greg Gazdowicz of Commercial Type, and will be added to the existing suite of Roboto fonts. Google calls it the ideal font “to make reading more comfortable at any size, in any format.”

The latest font creation comes in nine different versions and can be adjusted for weight, creating a plethora of possibilities for designers. Does this mean “retro” will become the new “current?” Read the full article here:

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