Nokia Windows Phones may use Nokia Pure font for Metro system UI (Update: Nope)

Straight the still-warm presses from PocketNow, some leaked but authentic-looking renders (I believe they’re real) of the upcoming Nokia 800 Windows Phone device reveals potentially one of the first platform differentiators for the lovechild of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership – a new font for the Metro interface.

Nokia Pure, Nokia’s new corporate font was introduced shortly after the Microsoft partnership was announced leaving many to speculate its applicability on Windows Phone, which up until now has had a strict guideline for OEMs that were not allowed to customize any aspects of user experience. It appears Nokia is now an exception.

With a magnifying glass never too far from my reach, I spotted that the font on the tiles were somehow different to what I was used. Upon closer inspection, the “g” gave it away. It was indeed Nokia Pure.

Although I don’t expect Nokia Pure to be the default font forced upon third party apps running in Nokia devices (Segoe WP will most likely exist too), this does makes me wonder what else of the WP7 user experience Nokia may have tweaked, hopefully for the better.

If the rumor-mills are to be believed, more should be revealed at next week’s Nokia World conference.

Update: The Nokia Windows Phones that have since been announced do not feature the Nokia Pure font for the home screen nor anywhere else in the OS.

38 insightful thoughts

  1. “Haters gonna hate” notwithstanding, I hope there’s a way to turn this off. I really like the Segoe WP font, and after using a WP device for a year or so, switching to this font would be just WRONG. Also I know Nokia have a special relationship but give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile!

  2. No. Wp7 is what the font is. The overly text-ridden interface depends on the style of the font. Segoe UI is truly a beautiful style. Nokia don’t do this. C’mon.

  3. > this does makes me wonder what else of the WP7 user experience Nokia may have tweaked, hopefully for the better.

    Personally, I don’t think Nokia have ever done anything “for the better.” This font looks like someone at Nokia was a huge fan of Comic Sans.

  4. Very interesting, I believe they also changed the IE-icon (it might be the pre-mango icon, but the phone is running mango, as indicated by the Xbox tile).

    1. Compare the text on your ‘Hotmai’ live tile to the one in the picture above. Nokia’s image shows the text starting much closer to the edge of the tile than the real thing. This, as well as the icon inconsistencies you described, lead me to believe this is a hasty mockup. Pretty terrible job though!

  5. I suspect if developers have been using the PhoneFontFamily brushes properly instead of explicitly stating Segoe font’s, 3rd party apps will likely natively use that new Nokia font.

  6. Could this throw the validity of these renders in to question? The font isn’t Segoe WP, the IE icon is odd and even the messaging icon looks to be aligned within the tile differently. We know this is what the 800 will look like, but I’m not convinced it will appear with these slight changes.

    1. Not only is the positioning of the messages icon wrong, the actual icon itself is the old icon. The new Mango icon doesn’t have the winking ;-) emoticon, it uses this emoticon :-) .

      But I would actually think this adds to the legitimacy. Your average faker would likely use Segoe to create fake mock-ups. The use of a Nokia font seems to suggest that this was created within Nokia.

  7. Only a graphic designer would have spotted this one, well spotted Long. I do like the typeface. Only a few days ago I was on the original blog post from nokia where they announced the Nokia Pure font. @idlelimey you are right about the odd IE logo, looks like a nodo IE tile.

  8. I was afraid this will happen when I first saw the new Nokia font and is similarities to Segoe WP.

    But this images seem to be mock-ups. There is still the old IE icon and not the new IE9 tile from Mango. Let’s hope this is just a “mistake” my Nokia. First, Google killed the perfect “Droid” font and now this? Oh please not!

  9. This had better be optional. I really want this phone, but without Segoe, it’s not the same. I really don’t care for HTC’s and Samsung’s offerings (too big or low-end) and was planning on getting this. But a different font would just be wrong. Segoe is such a nice font and an important part of WP7′s look. A Nokia font would be a deal-breaker for me.

    1. I have been waiting an eternity for the sea-ray, none of the offerings for WP7 have been particularly inspiring other than the now dated Dell Venue Pro. Part of the attraction of the WP7 interface is the sleek highly polished Metro UI graphic design. The very slim and less fussy Segoe typeface is the most critical element in the overall aesthetic. If Nokia replace this typeface with the horrible Pure and gives me no way to change it back … it will be a deal breaker for me also. The interface with the Pure typeface is an uncohesive mess and ruins the entire feel.

  10. This just seems like one of those things that only really matter to fontophiles. Like with the IKEA situation: font-people screamed bloody murder and the rest of the world didn’t even notice.

    Seriously, if you have to circle the few areas where the fonts are different does it really matter THAT much? I’m no graphic designer, I can’t tell the difference between Arial and Verdana and neither can 90% of the people who will buy this phone.

    1. I’m not really a fontophile (or typophile), but there is some subtle airiness lost in the Pure font.

      The real problem is that you may not be able to change it. The loop “g” would be bothersome in the Games application, where it appears front and center.

      There is something to be said about the lack of consistency. With WP7, you can remove any carrier/OEM crapware you want, and the rest of the system is more or less identical.

      This is a change that undermines one of the core design elements of WP7, and unless you can get the real experience, I’m not sure I’d buy this…

      Maybe I’m just bruised from all the brutal, sad customization of Android from various OEMs.

  11. This is just marketing generated stuff. They probably just had to create a screen shot and didnt have the product. So they used PhotoShop and the default font was the one used within Nokias marketing arm.

  12. Noo… Reading a text message written in Nokia Pure is simply a health hazard! Nokia, don’t do it! Please! Or let me revert back to standard Segoe WP!!!!

  13. Let’s hope they won’t use a new font.
    It doesn’t seem as legible in small sizes as Segoe.

    While some might dismiss this by saying “it’s just a font, no one will notice”, typography completely changes the experience of the user. Designers work hard to create a font that creates cohesion with the UI, if it’s simply replaced by another font the cohesion will be gone.

  14. That destroys my desire to buy a Nokia Windows Phone. I buy WP7 for the design, which is heavily powered by fonts. I don’t want to live in a font catastrophe, which is doomed to happen as many apps will likely not fit as a result of the font change.

  15. Uggh….. I’m sorry, but right now, all this propaganda on the emphasis of the Metro UI is *REALLY* cheesing me off! >_< It brings back flashbacks of the year 1995 when there was a lot of propaganda on the emphasis of the taskbar, start menu and desktop with the release of Windows 95. I got used to it in the end, and I'm sure eventually by the time Windows 8 is RTM'd, I will never, ever want to go back to Windows 7 ever again! :D Its just the way things are at the minute, Windows 8's Metro is something I find hard to get used to.

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