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Apple Fonts Are Target; Microsoft Fonts Are Walmart

Joel Spolsky has an interesting post on Safari for Windows, which highlights the different font philosophies used by Apple and Microsoft.

Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness. Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface.

It is almost too easy to use this specific typography example as a larger metaphor for the Apple approach versus the Microsoft approach, in general.

Typically, Apple chose the stylish route, putting art above practicality, because Steve Jobs has taste, while Microsoft chose the comfortable route, the measurably pragmatic way of doing things that completely lacks in panache. To put it another way, if Apple was Target, Microsoft would be Wal-Mart.

Where does your brand fall on the practicality vs. style spectrum?

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    One Response to “Apple Fonts Are Target; Microsoft Fonts Are Walmart”
    1. Andrew Morgan Andrew says:

      Given that Wal-Mart is the second largest company in the world (behind Exxon-Mobil) and Microsoft’s revenue outstrips Apple’s 2.5 to 1, I think I’d choose practicality over style. Then again, one must weigh this success against the cost of constant popular opposition to your stores and continued Justice Department investigations.