Google has a new take on its Roboto typeface, and it’s bringing serifs back: the aptly named Roboto Serif, designed in conjunction with Commercial Type’s Greg Gazdowicz to create a more readable serif companion to its Roboto Sans typeface.
However, the new font isn’t just the old Roboto letters with a few serifs: each letter has been redesigned from the ground up to create a font that “thinks of Roboto, but is a new and original design,” according to Google UX. director Rob Giampietro. The new font still uses the same vertical proportions of Roboto Sans, making it possible to mix serif and sans serif versions in one design.
It probably also helps that thicker, retro-style serif typefaces are making a comeback after years of domination of minimalist sans serif designs, as noted Voice. Serif fonts are also considered easier to read, thanks to more distinct letter shapes, which Google’s new font is developing as a variable font that can automatically change and optimize letter shapes for displays of different sizes.
Google has used its Roboto font in one form or another for over a decade; it was first introduced with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as the default font for the company’s mobile operating system. Roboto has had many variations over the years, although it has been slowly but steadily replaced as the company’s primary font by Product Sans (and its Google Sans variants, also known as the “Pixel” font ) on its various products.
For now, Roboto Serif is just being added to Google Fonts as another option for the company’s open-source Roboto font family, but it’s entirely possible that Google will one day use the new user-friendly font in its own marketing. also.