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Roboto (typeface).svg
Designer(s)Christian Robertson
Commissioned byGoogle
Date created2011
Date released2015
LicenseApache License
Latest release version2.001047;2015

Roboto is a neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface family developed by Google as the system font for its mobile operating system Android.

Google describes the font as "modern, yet approachable" and "emotional".[1][2] The entire font family has been licensed under the Apache license[3] and was officially made available for free download on January 12, 2012, on the newly launched Android Design website. It belongs to the neo-grotesque genre of sans-serif typefaces, and includes Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black weights with matching oblique styles. It also includes condensed styles in Light, Regular and Bold, also with matching oblique designs.

Language coverage[edit]

Roboto supports Latin, Greek (partial) and Cyrillic scripts.[4] On Android, the Noto font is used for languages not covered by Roboto, including Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai and Hindi.[5]


Android 5.1.1 on a Google Nexus 7 (2012), featuring the redesigned Roboto font.

The font was designed entirely in-house at Google by Christian Robertson, an interface designer for Google, who previously had released an expanded Ubuntu-Title font through his personal type foundry Betatype.[6][7] It was released for the first time in 2011 with Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".[8] Compared to Android's previous system font, the humanist sans-serif Droid, it adopts a more stark grotesque design with oblique styles rather than true italics, and a wider range of weights.


On June 25, 2014, Matias Duarte announced at Google I/O that the typeface for Roboto was significantly redesigned for Android 5.0 "Lollipop". The most significant changes are seen in the glyphs are: B (shrinking), R, P, a (expanding space), D, O, C, Q, e, g (curving), k, and numbers: 1, 5, 6, 7, and 9. Punctuation marks and the tittles in the lowercase i and j have been changed from a square dot to a rounded dot.


Roboto received variable reviews on its release. Joshua Topolsky, Editor-In-Chief of technology news and media network The Verge, describes the font as "clean and modern, but not overly futuristic – not a science fiction font".[9] However, typography commentator Stephen Coles of called the initial release of Roboto “a Four-headed Frankenfont”, describing it as a “hodgepodge” of different typographic styles which do not work well together.[7] Other type design professionals called out obvious errors in accented glyphs, while John Gruber called the font a "Helvetica ripoff".[10][11]


Besides being the default font on the Android operating system, since 2013 it is also the default font of other Google services such as Google+, Google Play, YouTube, Google Maps,[12] and mobile Google Search.

Roboto Bold is the default font in Unreal Engine 4.

It has been announced that the font will be the default font in Kodi, a free and open-source media player.[13]

Roboto is used on LCD countdown clocks implemented in 2017 on B Division lines of the New York City Subway.

Information on European versions of Nintendo Switch packaging, including physical releases of games, is set in Roboto Condensed.


Roboto Slab[edit]

Roboto Slab
Roboto Slab.tiff
ClassificationSlab serif
Designer(s)Christian Robertson
Commissioned byGoogle
Date releasedMarch 2013
Latest release version1.100263

Roboto Slab is a slab serif font based on Roboto. It was introduced in March 2013, as the default font in Google's note-taking service Google Keep.[14] It is available in four weights: thin, light, regular and bold. However, no oblique versions were released for it.

Roboto Mono[edit]

Roboto Mono is a monospace font based on Roboto. It is available in four weights: thin, light, regular and bold, with oblique stylings for each weight.[15]


Heebo is an extension of Roboto that includes Hebrew characters.[16]


  1. ^ O'Brien, Terrence (October 18, 2011). "Roboto font and the new design philosophy of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich". Engadget. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "Android Ice Cream Sandwich: Top 10 features that make it delicious". MSN. October 19, 2011. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012.
  3. ^ "License for font family 'Roboto'". Font Squirrel. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Robertson, Christian (2015). "Roboto". Google Fonts. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Typography - Style". Material Design. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Christian Robertson. Interface, type designer". Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Coles, Stephen (October 19, 2011). "Roboto Was a Four-headed Frankenfont". Typographica. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Isaac, Mike (October 19, 2011). "Google Unwraps Ice Cream Sandwich, the Next-Generation Android OS". Wired. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Topolsky, Joshua (October 18, 2011). "Exclusive: Matias Duarte on the philosophy of Android, and an in-depth look at Ice Cream Sandwich". The Verge. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Koeberlin, Christoph (October 19, 2011). "My Roboto-favourites, spontaneously: Ħ ǻ ę į ø ß ʼn". Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Gruber, John (October 19, 2011). "Roboto vs. Helvetica". Daring Fireball. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Graham-Smith, Darien (May 17, 2013). "Hands on with the new Google Maps". Alphr. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Betzen, Nathan (June 5, 2012). "XBMC 11.0 – May Cycle (updated)". Kodi. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Spradlin, Liam (March 27, 2013). "Closer Look: Google Keep Actually Shipped With A New (Serif) Font – Introducing Roboto Slab". Android Police. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  15. ^ Robertson, Christian. "Roboto Mono". Google Fonts. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Heebo open source Hebrew font". GitHub. Retrieved November 18, 2017.

External links[edit]