Matthew Fitzsimmons

Apple and Note Apps

Starting with Tiger and the introduction of the sticky note dashboard widget, Apple seems to have been having a love affair with the Marker Felt font. Much has been said about this already, and how it shows up in places that are otherwise examples of excellent typography. For example, the typography on the iPhone is generally great, but Apple chose to use Marker Felt in the Notes app, in an attempt to give it a more handwritten look.

Much has been said about this already, and how it shows up in places that are otherwise examples of excellent typography. For example, the typography on the iPhone is generally great, but Apple chose to use Marker Felt in the Notes app, in an attempt to give it a more handwritten look.

The font also shows up in Mail.app in the new notes feature. Unlike the iPhone, however, the user is at liberty to change the font if they so choose. This is the first thing I did with that feature.

But I haven't been using the notes feature in Mail, because it doesn't look much better to me with a font other than Marker Felt. I think it has something to do with the incongruity of the yellow legal pad look with a toolbar that has the dark gray look of the rest of the app.

The iPhone doesn't bother me in this regard. I think it has to do with the fact that it's not just a yellow sheet of “paper” stuck in where it doesn't belong, but they've made the rest of the app fit in with the metaphor. The toolbar area looks like a legal pad also, which makes the rest of the metaphor feel better.

Interestingly enough, Marker Felt doesn't bother me as much on the iPhone, and I think it's because it fits in better with the fact that the notes app itself is more consistent within the app.

I think I would be more likely to use notes in Mail if the note window was more like the iPhone notes app and looked more like a pad of paper. Or, if they did away with the fake paper look altogether. It would also be nice if these notes would sync with the iPhone notes and Stickies, but that, especially Stickies, might be too much to ask for.

This was written in the Notes app on the iPhone.