Microsoft commissions five new fonts with the goal of leaving Calibri behind

Satsuki Then - May 4, 2021, 6:23am CDT
Microsoft commissions five new fonts with the goal of leaving Calibri behind

Currently, the default font used by Microsoft is called Calibri. Microsoft wants to move away from that default font, and in an effort to find its new default, has commissioned five new custom fonts. The challenge now is to decide which of those five custom fonts becomes the new default.

Microsoft says default fonts are most noticeable in the absence of the impression they make. The software giant is looking for a font that blends into the background of the user experience, allowing the user to jump into the creative process. Since 2007, Calibri has been the default font for everything Microsoft does. That font replaced Times New Roman across Microsoft Office.

Microsoft says that while Calibri has served well, it’s time to evolve. One of the five custom fonts Microsoft has commissioned will become the new default, and it’s sharing the new fonts with the world and seeking input. Users can see all five of the new fonts in the image above. The fonts include Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview.

Tenorite was designed by Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang and has the look of a traditional workhorse sans serif, but with a warmer and friendlier style. Bierstadt was designed by Steve Matteson and is described as a precise, contemporary sans serif typeface that was inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography. Skeena was designed by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow and is described as a “humanist” sans serif based on shapes of traditional serif text typefaces.

Seaford was designed by Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger, and Fred Shallcrass. It’s a sans serif typeface rooted in the design of old-style serif text typefaces and evokes comfortable familiarity. Grandview was designed by Aaron Bell and is a sans serif typeface derived from classic German road and railway signage designed to be legible at a distance and under poor conditions. Microsoft says it will be evaluating all five fonts over the next few months, and all of the fonts are available via the cloud across Microsoft 365 apps. Users can offer feedback on the new fonts via Twitter.


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