We all gripe when Facebook forces a new layout on us and Twitter’s header size changes. But who knew typeface could be such an issue?
Unless you are a typeface nerd such as myself, the words “non-Latin writing systems” and “non-system font” probably don’t mean much to you, but they should. Here’s why: Twitter is growing rapidly overseas. So when Twitter recently switched over to Gotham from Helvetica, it caused some issues. Gotham is easier on the eyes, but only for English language speakers. Gotham lacks character sets that Arabic uses frequently.
For example, if you’re in Egpyt, the font used will be Tahoma. But “English speakers (or Twitter users who set their language to English but also tweet in Arabic) will see a mix of Gotham and Arial Unicode.” Huh? Essentially, there’s a huge lack of consistency now and it’s not limited to Arabic.
If it’s all about user interface, readability, blah blah blah…then why didn’t Twitter think of everyone?