I'm currently designing an app using Figma and having had no prior experience am learning as I go.

I appreciate both Android and iOS have their own design guidelines which I'll be looking at, but I was hoping somebody could provide advice on font.

My question is - is it typical for an app to use a different system specific font for each platform? i.e. - using Roboto for your Android app and San Fransisco for your iOS app?

Or is it more typical for apps to use a custom or paid for font such as Helvetica? In the case of using a custom font or paid font I guess it negates the need to use two separate fonts for each platform as providing continuity across platforms.


There is no custom. It's a design decision. Sometimes a performance decision.

Some feel that, using built-in system fonts is better because the user will see the fonts displayed that he is most familiar with--those that are used within the mobile device itself.

However, that's a problem when one wants to present a unique design, in which case one might want to use a different font because it blends with what one is trying to present.

Another issue is performance. In order to use a different font, a web page must download the font file which might be quite large. This can cause shifting of the page as, at first, a system font is shown until the new font is ready.

So, like most such things, it's what you want and not what rules there are.

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