TikTok sparks controversy with its new custom font, the TikTok Sans

Brian Adam

The popular social media phenomenon, TikTok, has been making waves lately with an unexpected change: the introduction of its own custom font, TikTok Sans. Although this new typographic design has been met with some dissatisfaction by users, its purpose is to offer a stronger and more consistent brand experience.

The collaboration between TikTok and Grilli Type, the renowned type foundry, has been key in the development of this new font. For approximately a year, both parties have worked together to create a unique typeface that reflects the identity of the brand and is adapt to different formats, from small screens to billboards. Grilli Type has been noted for its expertise in creating custom typefaces for leading brands, combining the technical excellence of Swiss typography with a distinctive personality.


TikTok Sans’ new variable font system, made up of TikTok Sans Display and TikTok Sans Text, offers unprecedented versatility. The Display variant is geared towards marketing and branding, while the Text variant focuses on UI apps. This flexibility allows the brand to tailor weight, size, tilt and other visual characteristics to achieve an optimal experience, even in situations of night use.

One of the fundamental aspects in the design of this new typography has been the accessibility. Grilli Type has created around 700 glyphs for each of the TikTok Sans variants, allowing for the support of more than 200 different languages. The new letterforms feature wider openings, lighter strokes, and simpler outlines, improving legibility and the overall reading experience. In addition, they have implemented security measures against identity theftproviding an additional layer of protection for users.

Despite the obvious advantages of TikTok Sans, it is understandable that users are reluctant to such a significant change in the visual appearance of the application. However, over time, they will likely get used to this new aesthetic and come to appreciate the benefits it brings in terms of brand consistency and readability.