Microsoft retires from its default font Calibri, and adds five new fonts to its Office Suite namely, Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite, for the first time in shocking 15 years.
It was the year 2007 in which for the first time Microsoft changed its default font from Times New Roman to Calibri.
Microsoft has asked for user’s opinion over Twitter, in selecting the next default font over the coming month.
All the five font families are available top download through Microsoft Support Website.
Default fonts are designed to be unobtrusive and adaptable, and Calibri has served that role capably. It renders well on just about any screen, at any size, but it still has a bit of character. Its subtle curves make it a bit warmer than its blocky sans serif cousins Helvetica and Arial, two designer favorites that are famous — or infamous, in some circles — for their brutal simplicity and balanced stroke weight. (Sans serif means no curly bits at the ends of the letters).
The company writes in a blog post, “A default font is often the first impression we make as the visual identity of a person and their representation to other people via resumes, documents, or emails create a better impression upon others”.
The font, Bierstadt, designed by Steve Matteson, is a precise serif inspired by mid-century Swiss designs. The name comes from one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. It is a versatile typeface that expresses simplicity and rationality in a highly readable form. It is also notably clear-cut with stroke endings that emphasize order and restraint.
Matteson said that the Swiss typographers gravitated to grotesque designs like Helvetica because of their suitability for grid-based typography which alternatively impacts today’s world in making the content feel “more approachable and less institutional”.
Tenorite was designed by Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang. The font typically looks like a traditional workhorse sans serif font, but quite friendly with its users. It notably uses larger dots, accents and punctuations to make the readers go more relaxing, and comfortable even at small sizes.
Skeena is a “humanist sans serif based on the shapes of traditional serif text typefaces and was designed by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow.
The strokes of Skeena are generally modulated, with a noticeable contrast between thick and thin and a distinctive slice applied to the ends of many of the strokes.
Skeena is also ideal for body text in long documents, as well as in shorter passages often found in presentations, brochures, tables, and reports.
Seaford, created by Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger, and Fred Shallcrass, takes influence from the sans serif fonts of old, using gently curving, slightly asymmetrical shapes to emphasize the power of each letter.
The designers of Seaford, took inspiration from old armchairs to find a practical way to bring a classic, valued font back to life without the serifs.
Grandview, created by Aaron Bell, draws inspiration from “classic German road and railway signage” and is designed for maximum readability no matter the font size or style.
Quips about German efficiencies aside, Grandview is uncompromising and easy to read and will suit any number of document types. It is the most striking of all five new fonts and much like the signs, this font is highly legible, with some tweaks to make it more comfortable for long-form reading.
While Calibri never became as popular as Helvetica, which the design world has swooned over, it’s still going to go down as a classic, like the popular classroom staple Times New Roman, for sure.
Tenorite appears to be an early favorite, with users commenting on its more traditional style and comparisons to Times New Roman. Other users prefer the modern curves and flowing lines of Skeena, which the designers promise “is a fresh take on sans serif.”