On using Helvetica for small text when making apps

I came across an interesting post by Erik Spiekerman today about type choice in a world of small screens.

I first really started to learn about type in university after buying a copy of by Erik Spiekerman's Stop Stealing Sheep, in my first year.

His writing about typography is pretty much what caused the Student Union at the Westminster to adopt Meta as their corporate typeface when I ended up working as the Comms Officer there, and why it was used so much in the student magazine we relaunched in before I graduated.

However, I never really thought of how it worked on on screens compared to Helvetica, and I've been guilty of using it in mockups before without thinking through how readable at 12pt or lower.

I didn't really think too much of it until I saw this image comparing legibility of different typefaces on Spiekerman's blog post, Helvertica Sucks, but suffice to say, I find the image below convincing enough to think more than twice when working as small sizes in future:

As an aside, the type nerd in me is loving how the serif on FF Unit removes any ambiguity between the i and the l. Bravo.

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