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Twitter rolls out redesign along with new bespoke font, Chirp

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Twitter has embarked on a redesign of its browser and app experiences that included the switch to a new font, appropriately named Chirp.

The company noted that it’s made its UI design higher contrast and removed what it called extraneous gray backgrounds and divider lines, as well as increasing the amount of space available to text.

It’s also invested in its own bespoke font, Chirp.

The sans serif is “imperfect by design.”

“Chirp strikes the balance between messy and sharp to amplify the fun and irreverence of a Tweet, but can also carry the weight of seriousness when needed,” reads a blog post from the company about the change.

So far, the reaction to the new font has been mixed — with many complaining it’s not as legible. Some are even going as far to say it gives them headaches or eye problems, while others not it “feels” smaller.

The company said it gathered feedback from focus groups about the new font and tested it extensively on a variety of platforms and sizes.

Twitter briefly experimented with the popular font Proxima several years back, but that was short lived.

Custom fonts are becoming increasingly popular among major brands, who often commission a modified version of an existing font or a completely original one.

Examples include Google’s Product Sans and Apple’s San Fransisco.

These fonts are typically not available for the general public to download and use. Most applications use webfont technology to allow most browsers and devices to display the custom font “remotely” — in the sense that it doesn’t need to be installed on users’ computers and it’s not directly downloadable either (though there are numerous “hacks” and workarounds).

Custom fonts also let companies control their branding and look and feel closer since they are the only ones who can legally use the font. While it can be pricey to commission and design a bespoke font, it can be less expensive in the long term thanks to lower (or no) licensing fees that third party foundries charge.