• 06.02.14

Apple Changes OS X’s Main Font For The First Time Ever

Following the lead of iOS, Apple’s desktop operating system says goodbye to Lucida Grande, and hello to Helvetica Neue.

Apple Changes OS X’s Main Font For The First Time Ever
[Image: Mac screen via bloomua / Shutterstock]

Since the introduction of OS X in 2001, Lucida Grande has served as its main system font. But after taking the wraps off OS X 10.10, aka Yosemite at today’s Worldwide Developers Conference, it looks like the operating system’s new system font is going to be Helvetica Neue.


Apple didn’t call out the font by name, but it bears very close resemblance to what’s used in iOS 7, and that’s Helvetica Neue.

The move isn’t completely surprising. Helvetica Neue has served as the main iOS font since last year, and one of the main objectives of the latest OS X update is to bring it closer in line with Apple’s mobile platform, both functionally and visually.

What does this mean? A lot of the basic areas where you interact with OS X–folders, windows, menu bars, etc.–will look a little different. And how does this new font work in OS X? We still haven’t seen enough of the new OS in action to say, but it’s worth noting that Helvetica Neue’s implementation in iOS 7 has drawn mixed reactions (namely, the font can be hard to read on the smaller iPhone screen).

Read more on Apple’s WWDC keynote.

About the author

Adrian Covert has written some things on the Internet, and now he writes and edits things on Co.Design. Loves naps.