BlackBerry and the UAE government

BlackBerry UAE partners up to assist the Government

International News

Digit names BlackBerry 10 ‘The World’s Best Mobile OS’

Android not such a good deal

Nigerians want their BlackBerry back

BlackBerry Media

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team are still making the most o

CrackBerry Polls

CrackBerry Asks: Would you want a dual SIM BlackBerry?

BlackBerry Games

Quick reminder - Just a few days left to grab NeverMaze for free

BlackBerry Media

The International Organization for Migration in Colombia jump on the BES10 bandwagon

BlackBerry Media

BlackBerry and BES10 within the UK's National Health Service

BlackBerry Media

The top UK law firms are choosing BlackBerry 10 for its security features

BlackBerry Apps

Making a return - CrackBerry app bargains of the week

BlackBerry Apps

Going to the Glastonbury festival? Get the official Android app on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone

Now ready for developers

BlackBerry 10.3 SDK goes Gold

News & Rumors

BlackBerry 10 OS adoption rate by the numbers

BlackBerry Games

It's Wimbledon time. We check out the best tennis games for BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry Apps

One small improvement I'd like to see to the BlackBerry alarm clock

Editorial

Should BlackBerry and Amazon be working together on more than just apps?

BlackBerry Media

Amazon bringing their Appstore to BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry Games

Test your racing skills as Colin McRae Rally launches for BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry Apps

New Jumping Jacks sticker pack arrives in the BBM Shop

BlackBerry Apps

Get Instagram 6.0.1 on your BlackBerry right now!

< >

Slate typeface used in BlackBerry 10 has Nova Scotian roots

Slate typeface used in BlackBerry 10 has Nova Scotian roots
By Bla1ze on 3 Mar 2013 01:51 pm EST
7
loading...
0
loading...
97
loading...

When you're building an operating system there are a great amount of things you must consider, but high on that list are the typefaces you want to offer. For BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry sought out something new. Something easily readable. Something that could be extended across many areas and most importantly, looked visually great. For that, they turned to Monotype Imaging and worked with them to use a font we all now know as Slate.

Slate however; wasn't created specifically for BlackBerry. It was originally released in 2008 by Rod McDonald, a typeface designer who lives in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia. The design happened after Rod worked on a legibility study with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with goal being to create a typeface that looked great both on screen as well as in print and eventually, it was licensed to Monotype Imaging.

"I wasn't sure if that was feasible. Screens were pretty crude back then. Until you see it on a device like this, you really don't know if you've got it right or not. Seeing what BlackBerry has done, I'm going, 'omigod!' It's much better onscreen than I thought it would be."

In the end, BlackBerry had narrowed it down to two options and they ultimately decided to go with Slate. Now many new variations have been added and Slate comes in a total of six weights including regular, light and italic and has seen many translations. In total, upwards of 9,000 characters make up Slate and Rod has been inspired to continue creating typefaces and exploring new ideas for many years to come.

Being born and raised in Halifax myself, this is pretty awesome to me and to be perfectly honest, I had hoped to be able to interview Rod after having learned the story of Slate on a recent trip to Waterloo. Since there is now plenty of coverage surrounding the font, its story, and Rod, I would just like to say to Rod, should you come across the write-up and should you ever want to grab a coffee sometime, I would love to hear more and I will certainly bring you a BlackBerry Z10 of your own should you not have one already. It looks beautiful on the device and many thanks for creating such a beautful typeface.

Learn more and purchase Slate

via: Chronicle Herald, Design Edge Canada

23 comments

jinxednuance

"there is a good many things" - rephrase.

blue200316

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

shredney

As another Haligonian BlackBerry Power User, Street Fighter, ( by my definition anyway ) I am totally proud of this Rod, your font looks smashing on my Z10, I would definitely love to buy you a coffee sometime as well. Rock On The Real East Coast

ddlax22

This is pretty cool actually. Thanks for the background bla1ze.

rudie75

Neat, thanks for sharing!

G-bone

Great typeface, great story!

#BB10Believe

wolf_359

Thanks for sharing. For those of you who have never been here in NS i highly recommend you visit some summer. Great place to live and vacation.

alan510

Interesting story. Who said the ancient art of script creation was dead? Slate creates a really easy to read experience. Thanks for the story and I hope you hook up with him one day.

playbookster

I really do like this font

mcmolineux

Is this the font of the keyboard, or the on screen text when it's displayed, or both?

Bla1ze

On screen, keyboard.. in ads. Just about anything related to BlackBerry 10 that requires a font.

Optimus4

You can tell it is good because it is the only thing no one has complained about on BB10. :)

Oh just had an idea is CrackBerry able to use a similar font for the site? That would be cool.

Easy-G

Saw this in the Chronicle Herald, great story :) Lots of BB love here in NS

mscloutier

Proud to be a Bluenoser and BlackBerry user!

Puz_zled

A Canadian innovation incorporated along with many others into this amazing product. Great story! Support technological development in this country so our best and brightest can stay here and develop and contribute back here, so they don't HAVE to go work for an American tech giant to persue their craft and make those companies even richer and more dominant. This is just one example of how building a tech ecosystem in a country depends on having the big guys and the smaller guys working in a symbiotic way. Go buy a Z10 for this reason, but even moreso because it totally rocks, and it will just keep on getting better! I'm loving mine. Sorry if this comes off as lame but every once in a while I just have to let that flag waving rabid Canadian patriot out. :)

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

imagine how it feels to be from waterloo

leejayh

I was wondering about why the BB was so easy to read. I was thinking that it was the new screen with the super pixel density. But, this explains alot.

ghostzapper

Slate. BB10. Canadian. Priceless.

00stryder

I'm so glad that even with the new management, so to speak, BBRY is still taking pride in its roots and working with Canadians to bring out their new devices/services. That's one thing that Mike & Jim did without reservation, and I'm glad the company is still continuing with that tradition.

DuexNoir

Awesome story. Always glad to see home grown talent being used.

~I am BlackBerry by choice~

Rootbrian

Slate is awesome.
Toronto subway font is just as great too. :D
PS. If anyone wants the off-topic font, PM or mention me on twitter at @rootbrian_ or identi.ca with my crackberry username/forum handle.

GO GO BLACKBERRY!!

alfasedanman

Interesting to learn about the font-its clear and concise. I love the fact that BB is using/sourcing Canadian companies to build their product (unlike here in the US and the I Toy crowd using China companies etc.....) It's good to see Canadian patriotism-your country is gorgeous, super friendly and BlackBerry is a world class, sophisticated and cosmopolitan product worthy of hardcore love and support. My playbook has replaced my laptop, my BB Bold 9930 never leaves my side, and I'm patiently waiting for a ZED 10 in "stormtrooper" colors. Come on Verizon!
As a patriotic American I proudly support my Canadian friends!

I am BlackBerry by choice-and my company is BlackBerry because I said so. :)