On Wed, 2010-04-28 at 17:02 -0400, William Jon McCann wrote:
Firstly, I should have been more clear that I would like to see
Sans be considered for the default UI font - not document font.
I am not a typography expert. For my part, I think Droid looks a lot
better and it was designed from the start to be a UI font, where
DejaVu was not.
My designer colleagues in Fedora and GNOME are much more knowledgeable
about this and I've asked them to chime in with some details.
I just wanted to chime in, although note my typographic background is
limited to a half-semester typography course, multiple failed attempts
at font design, and reading Ellen Lupton books, so your mileage may
vary. That being said:
I've always thought of DejaVu / Bitstream Vera as a slightly uglier
clone of MS Verdana. Vera / Verdana - the names are similar. As to
ugliness/awkwardness, see . :) (they use Verdana - but open it
up in Inkscape and type over to compare the two :) )
It appears to be fairly equivalent to Verdana for better viewing of
webpages designed for verdana (a fairly ubiquitous font). They are both
specifically designed for screen viewing - however Verdana was designed
in the early-to-mid-90's (I'm guessing Vera was too) when the average
screen resolution was probably 800x600 at best (today it's a pretty
reasonable guess your worst resolution is 1024x600 on a netbook.)
Droid Sans has a lot more personality than those two - to me it is a lot
friendlier & less stiff. The letterforms are very humanist
(human-hand/calligraphy-inspired.) It's a humanist sans-serif like Gill
Sans - which I think gives it a warmer feel - little calligraphic
touches like the g's bowled descender and the curved & tapered serifs &
finials on the letters. Deja Vu is a colder font - like a Helvetica /
transitional sans-serif - it is rather anonymous/neutral-looking and has
far less line-width variation. Where Droid Sans has tapering and curves,
Deja Vu has hard angles and straight-cuts.
It might be worth starting a thread on typophile.