Palm Pre’s Custom Font ‘Prelude’
While the Palm Pre is intriguing in many respects, I am not particularly excited about its User Interface; it’s modern and has that ‘new’ feel that seems to be gone from the iPhone [something Android never had] and it seems sophisticated and well-designed from a usability point of view, but it also seems somewhat busy and over-the-top æsthetically.
One of the things that did catch my eye, however, is the new font that the Pre includes. Very similar to Avenir, the font, apparently called Prelude, is a sans-serif design with good readability and a look that makes it distinguishable from many other fonts in use in modern operating systems today.
There are various reports online stating that Prelude does not support non-Roman character sets, such as Hellenic, Cyrillic, or East-asian. I’m not even sure how good its support is for Central European languages either. If this is true, it strikes me as very naive on Palm’s part: given that this is a font that was custom designed in 2008 (?) for a product that’s bound to be internationally sold, proper international character support should’ve been a high priority. If anything the omission will make the Pre much less attractive to customers outside of North America and Western Europe, something that other companies learnt the hard way over the years. Hopefully Palm won’t have to do so too.