A change to iNaturalist fonts

You might notice some text on the iNaturalist website, as well as the iNaturalist Android* app and Seek by iNaturalist, looks a little different now. This is because we swapped out the Whitney font, which we had been using, with the similar open source Lato font. Making this change aligns with our philosophy of using open source code and resources.

We on staff have been testing Lato with our own use of iNaturalist and Seek, and while it took a moment to adjust to the new look, it seems to be working well. However, with such a big change there may still be places and situations where the font change causes some layout and formatting issues. Please let us know about them here if you can, and provide screenshots and URLs.

*(The current iOS iNaturalist app did not use Whitney)


The only thing that’s really bugging me so far is that this has moved (in Firefox at least).
Screenshot 2024-05-29 104926


Happening on Chrome too.


I assume you’re referring to https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify? Please include URLs when providing feedback.


At first, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going crazy or not (I was on the site at the very time it got released, I think). In 20 minutes it’s grown on me some… I think I’ll get used to it eventually. Good choice to align with the open-source philosophies.


The new font is not bad, but the previous one was better. The first thing that caught my eye was the small “e”. On my 2K monitor, the horizontal line in the letter “e” is 1.5 pixels high, now it looks cloudy and is hard to read. Also, italics (Latin names) have become less readable, but this may be a matter of habit. Maybe after a while I’ll get used to it, but if not, you can always change the font to the one you like using a browser plugin.


I thought the same of the scientific names. Here’s a before-and-after of the same one:


It’s a little more upright and less bold, it seems.


i don’t like it but i can’t tell you why. there’s nothing specific that’s standing out that’s causing me to not like it, i just don’t. so maybe it’s just something i have to get used to and then i won’t even remember not liking it.


Yeah, I’m the same. I think I’ll get used to it but it just caught me so off guard :sweat_smile:


I advocated for Comic Sans, but got vetoed. :man_shrugging:


This is a friendly reminder that any change, especially significant visual changes, take a while to adjust to.


I also thought I was taking crazy pills for a few min. I agree that I think I like it less, but I also think I always like new fonts less than the previous one, and then learn to adjust. I do find the lower case "g"s in italics weird - they kinda don’t register as a letter to my brain.


I like the new font! Gives iNat a more welcoming, uncomplicated look


Most changes to anything give me existential dread, but this one isn’t bad. I actually think the font looks pretty nice. My only gripe is I wish the italics were a bit more obvious given the abundance of latin names on the site, but most of the time you can tell it’s italicized.


I think this change is a good one. The only thing thats “bugging” me is that any bold text now looks exactly the same as regular text, at least to me
(first “test” is in bold, second is in italics and third is regular text. This is in a draft for a journal post)

first “test” is in bold, second is regular text. (This is a comment on one of my observations)


I am not crazy about the way it is putting the last tab on my homepage on a second line:

I don’t know if this is an issue with the width adjustment or whether it is an inevitable result of using iNat on a smallish notebook in a language (German) with longish words, and the fact that it all fit on a single line before was just coincidence.


I would like to just add my two cents here and say that I actually do like the new font already.


Aghh, this is the biggest thing I noticed as well. I changed a bold part of my bio to italics because it looks nothing like a heading anymore.

Except for the names of people on their profiles – that’s too bold, I think.

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I personally think it fits well the iNaturalist branding and simplicity. However, I feel personally that it has decreased the legibility of names on multiple pages. Bolds and italics are difficult to tell apart, especially in blocks of text (but this issue has already been mentioned previously). Finally, Lato doesn’t support many languages which is unfortunate on a platform like iNaturalist. Maybe a typeface such as Open Sans or Noto Sans would be other good fits. Open Sans has the benefit of being a variable font which allows to adjust the weight, width and style to be as legible as possible on each platform.


As do I! Aside from the bold issues and kinks, it feels very… scientific.