New Nokia Font “Nokia Pure” across all phones, complete with Exhibition. Bye Nokia Sans!

| March 25, 2011 | 36 Replies

One of the things Nokia UI design has been picked upon is the font (typeface really, but we’ll refer to it as font). It’s is such an important part of the total user experience, but since it’s so subtle it’s so often overlooked how much impact it has.

The font can’t be just any font as long as it’s readable. You can’t just stick with a font because it’s recognizable. Maybe that’s ok for the brand logo – but not the default font for reading messages, viewing pages, UI buttons/titles etc. Why? The font conveys its own message.

Nokia Sans is narrow, sharp, and looks perfect for narrow, small screens with limited pixels – harking back the days of old, so making the UI seem older. Same thing with icons. Similarities with S^1 just made US bloggers feel S^3 is just the same. We conducted a poll in which our readers at the time agreed there should be a change in the fonts AND icons. We got really excited when we got a glimpse of some S^4 screenshots NOT in Nokia Sans but Verdana. It looked so much better. When I changed the fonts on my N8, it looked so much better (unfortunately it prevented Ovi Store from working)

Fonts was also one of the topics I had asked Nokia VP of Eseries, Ilari Nurmi during the Eseries Q&A:

I also asked about the Nokia Font (if they liked it), if they had thought about changing it as it does make a surprising difference to the overall appearance, if ever so subtly. That topic was something of a surprise for them and something not even considered. Apparently all documents at Nokia HQ are in this Nokia Sans. Whilst I know there’s several much bigger issues – attention to detail is also important.

So without further ado, Nokia are apparently introducing a NEW corporate font that will launch across all devices. It is called “Nokia Pure”, and it was created by typographers Dalton Maag. I’m not sure if this change in font is related to the Microsoft Partnership (as font plays SUCH A BIG PART of the Metro UI Windows Phone experience, as it is also with Palm Pre – just to add on importance of font choice). It may have been part of an intended internal change all along, it’s just that it’s the first time we’ve heard of it.

One of the exhibition posters - not from Nokia - a poster with the brief to use the new typeface

Aapo Bovellan, Studio Nokia’s director of brand and marketing says,


“Nokia Pure is a celebration of our Finnish design heritage. We wanted to give it a natural, flowing form, while creating something that is highly functional and neutral. Nokia Pure has a clarity of purpose and as little design as possible. It’s made to celebrate human creativity.’”

Font’s must be functional but they must also convey the correct message through the right design. For a phone, they must be easily readable, scalable for small screen and zooming, but not occupy too much room. Yet it must also have rounder, more modern looking curves (at least in comparison to Nokia Sans), something that fits within the expectations of today.

The font had it’s own Exhibition yesterday (24th March) called, the “Nokia Pure Exhibition” with artists sponsored to come up with posters using the new typeface.


The exhibition is the collaboration of D&AD, Nokia and Finlandia vodka. The posters will be sold at the exhibition and online to raise money for the British Dyslexia Association.

Here are some of those designs. Please check out the post by Design Week for descriptions.

DesignWeek Via: The Register

Cheers to Robin for the heads up.











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Category: Nokia

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Zaxxx

    Will it available for n8,or just upcoming device/windows phone?

    • I’m sure it will be available through device updates but feel this is going to be a massive failure. Case studies have been written about the current Nokia typeface and its readability on screen. Nokia pure is nowhere close to that. 🙁

  • A pure new experience!

  • GordonH

    Glad to see Nokia’s ability to focus on the details. Execution speed seems to be picking up at Nokia.
    I’m not used to seeing Nokia’s fast execution… This is all very weird maybe a dream …ouch.. No not a dream … Ouch.. Ok not a dream.. Ouch..oops.

  • Shiv

    I’ve already changed the font on my N8.
    Looks wicked now!
    And Qt apps work 100% 🙂

    The usual step: copy fonts to \resource\fonts and reboot.
    When I did this the first time, Qt apps broke.
    But when I installed Qt 4.7.2 + QtMobility 1.1.1 + QtWebkit 4.7.2, and then changed fonts, Voila, everything works 100%.

    Note: I am still running PR 1.0, not sure if later updates will break these steps.

    Hope this helps.


    • Shiv

      The link to the updated Qt stuff is:

    • Goc

      The bug happened on earlier Qt versions, I’m certain that as long as people have Qt 4.7.2 or latter Qt apps will not break.

      • Tiamat

        Yep, that bug was fixed in qt 4.7.2. All qt apps work great on my C7 (PR 1.2) with a changed font.

  • as213

    where to find this font to change my font on N8?

    • John H.

      I second this. Is this font available for download now?

  • stylinred

    i thought they were finally announcing a simpler solution for changing fonts (without users having to “hack”/mod the fonts themselves)

    • With the Qt Font bug now working, you can use applications such as Font Zoomer in the Ovi Store to change fonts at a snap.

      • stylinred

        ah good to know thanks but it’d be nice if nokia just had an option in settings to change

  • Pras

    Here’s a better link that gives us the font as is usually shown on font sites

  • deep space bar

    wtf why must elop try so hard to only please the American’s what about the rest me the world that doesn’t have a problem witi Nokia sans

    • Jay Montano

      People have had issues with Nokia Sans before elop. Also, it shouldn’t be that just because things are fine and readable that we shouldn’t look towards whether we can further improve.

      • deep space bar

        really i only read and heard complaints about Nokia sans from symbian and Nokia haters other than that nothing i don’t find anything wrong with it at all it’s really easy on the eyes legible

        • Mark

          Nope. Nokia sans just looks clunky. I would prefer if we could select a font without buggering everything up but must say that Pure looks nice and fresh.

          Looks like Elop is taking names and getting stuff done to me.

        • We ran a poll here at MNB asking whether users wanted to change icons, fonts or both.

          Care to guess the results?

        • amoshydra

          agree with deep space bar.. No issue with font at all..

          Maybe because I haven’t try out any better font on it? But no complain though..

          • deep space bar

            the Nokia sans is famous cause it was designed from some artist

        • Steve

          Ummm… I am a symbian fan using an N8, and believe me, this is the best thing that could happen. This gives the phone a more modern look. At some point you’ve gotta break with the screen memories of your N95 and move on. There’s a reason other platforms have eaten Nokia’s market share.

  • Antonio

    This Nokia Pure font is SO beautiful! It looks a lot like the font I used on my N95, actually even better! And I love it!

  • Pingback: PURE ALCOHOL! | Morag Myerscough, Luke Morgan, Isabel Allen, Claire Catterall, Martyn Evans()

  • It seems that Nokia has changed their font many times during past years, and getting more and more beautiful.
    However, what I think more important is, can they have Chinese support on all phones, not only those sold in China and Singapore?

  • Greg

    Fonts are great!

  • Kway

    The font is okay, but those designs are just stupid

  • deep space bar

    i guess the font will look better on a higher res screen

  • Pingback: Nokia Conversations’ Interface Idea (and more talk on new Nokia Pure fonts) : My Nokia Blog()

  • anam

    Where is link for downloading the Nokia Pure?

  • crb

    I’ve found the Nokia Pure TTF and you can put it on your Symbian^3 phone today. Check out my blog post on the topic:

  • Pingback: Change to Nokia Pure font now! [Tutorial included] : My Nokia Blog()

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  • dharmesh

    i have nokia e63 with the latest firmware. I want to install nokia pure new font released by nokia but i am not able to do so. Kindly give me guidline of installing the font.

  • Paul McMahon

    This sums Nokia up to be honest. The fact that they’ve plowed such weight into projects like this and not innovation of handsets, quite rightly means their market position is falling quicker than their share price