Updated: November 19, 2010
The iPhone has a couple dozen different fonts. I don't have a list that says what font is mapped to
what application. I will cover three methods of changing fonts in this tutorial: manually swapping
them out using OpenSSH, and using the programs on Cydia: BytaFont and FontSwap. I found a
collection of iPhone 4, and non-iPhone 4 fonts at
I have found that if you change the Helvetica, and Helvetica Bold fonts with a customized font, it
has the single greatest impact on the look of the iPhone. However, with 4.0 firmware Apple has
decided to use the .ttc extension on some fonts (like Helvetica) thus complicating the issue of
swapping out fonts easily. Put simply, .ttc is a True Type Collection - a file consisting of
several fonts packed into it. In order to change Helvetica, you'd need to decompress the .ttc,
switch out the font you want to change and then repack all the fonts together as a .ttc. I've read
about a Windows method of doing this, there is also a Mac program called FontLab Studio, which sells
for a mere $650. Currently I won't be covering how to manipulate .ttc files until someone can
simplify it for us. If you'd like to read more about this, check out this discussion over at
I will link to many other fonts later on, and you can experiment with swapping those out with their
I will be using YummyFTP to upload the files in this tutorial. These instructions can be applied to
any files you want to add to your iPhone, provided you already have SSH installed. If you have not
installed OpenSSH, or used YummyFTP before, then
you must read this tutorial first.
The custom font (non-iPhone 4) I am going to use in this tutorial is called NeoTech, and is made by
Gaurav Giri. You can read the article about this font, and download the font
Note: This website has some other fonts in it, so spend some time reading it. You can also
view examples of this font and download it from
Launch YummyFTP and navigate to /System/Library/Fonts/Cache. I renamed the MarkerFeltThin.ttf file
to MarkerFeltThinOriginal,ttf so I could switch it back if I wanted to. Then I copied over the
modified MarkerFeltThin.ttf file.
Turn the iPhone off, and then back on (or use a program that will respring for you like SBSettings).
Here's my before and after.
Now I'm going to install a new font on my iPhone 4. It's called Laffayette Comic Pro. It includes
six different types to theme the various areas of the iPhone like the lock clock, the notes font,
the system font, and a dialer font. In my example I'm only changing out the Helvetica fonts,
obviously you'd want to use them all for a more consistent look.
I then used SBSettings to respring. Here's what it looks like. Reminds of me the font used on
the TV show Heroes.
There is a thread at MacThemes where someone is porting fonts on request.
Read it here.
There is a thread over at ModMyi which is also hosting many iPhone fonts.
Read it here.
There are two programs on Cydia that make changing fonts push button simple. One is BytaFont.
You install the program, then you go to the Fonts folder in Cydia to find BytaFont font packages to
install. The thing that I like about this program is it changes the fonts system wide at the same
Upon installing, two programs will be added. Launch BytaFont. I've already installed a couple
Upon respringing, here is what the Akbar font looks like.
Here's the Walt Disney Font.
Another program on Cydia is called FontSwap. While not fully compatible with 4.0 firmware (the
System fonts feature doesn't work, nor does the automatic restore feature), it is still helpful, and
an easy way to change fonts. It works with all versions of iPhone. Here is what it looks like.
If you change the lock clock font you can go from this, to this. There are several other fonts
you can choose as well.
You can also change the font used in the Calculator program.