In technology, one day all good default settings (at least not the Mac startup signal) will have to come to an end. Today, Microsoft announced The 2007 Office font – Calibri, anyone without a serif – would soon be part of Clippy. Internet Explorer, and the Windows 8 start button on the large windows cemetery in the sky.
“Calibri has been the default font for Microsoft since 2007 when it replaced Times New Roman in Microsoft Office,” said the Microsoft design team in Calibri’s de facto Obit. “It has served us all well, but we believe it is time to move forward.”
Microsoft is now on the hunt for the next great standard font from tech. Instead of going the reality competition route and opening the search to all the elderly handwritten font familyThe company has commissioned five custom fonts that will now vie for this convenient appearance.
As pictured above, the new potential default fonts are Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. All five are sans serif –Times New Roman Legacy Shots– and the Microsoft Design Team presented one case at a time when they presented these new options.
Tenorite caught on because it took an opposite approach from Calibri (round, wide and crisp instead of soft corners and narrow proportions). Bierstadt is another Helvetica Impostor ™ (also known as the new font in the “grotesque sans serif” category). Skeena and Seaford are sans serif to mimic certain aspects of serif. The former is based on the form of serif fonts; The latter is “rooted in the design of old-style serif text fonts” to instill familiarity. And Microsoft obviously means it serious Familiarity.
“To determine the kind of familiarity and ‘comfort’ that the typeface was supposed to evoke, we also looked at pictures of old armchairs: in terms of chairs, we wanted to put a practical family heirloom in a practical way; permanent upholstery, nothing overtly plush or nostalgic” , wrote designer Nina Stössinger. “And when it comes to italics, it turns out that there are parallels between chair ergonomics and typography: instead of puffing them up and making them softer, trust the rigid moments that are good for your back.”
The last candidate stands as a personal favorite (of course, it would look best in lower case letters surrounded by a certain color wheel). Grandview designer Aaron Bell said he was inspired by classic German road and rail signage that emphasized legibility so viewers could understand it from a distance or in bad weather.
His explanation of how this idea developed felt appropriately and mechanically German:
With Bahnschrift – a prototype that I developed in the mechanical style of DIN [the German Industrial Standard]- As a starting point, I’ve decided to keep the x-height large. This results in better readability and readability at smaller sizes on lower resolution devices. This is important because Grandview is intended for body text on any computer running Windows. Then I made a version that was about 20 percent wider than the original design and interpolated between them to find just the right balance between the railway font and the horizontal aspect. Ultimately, I found it perfect to increase the width of the lowercase letters by 40 units (four to five percent). The width of the capital letter has also been increased by about 20 units (about two percent) to keep it consistent with the lower case letter.
At this time, Microsoft has not given a fixed timetable for the departure of this font. (The announcement blog isn’t either Completely Make it clear whether this new default font will only replace Calibri in the Office suite or on Windows. We reached out to Microsoft to clarify and will update this post if we hear anything. . at-them on Twitter. No public vote or anything. Obviously this is not a font; The final decision will be made in Redmond.
Update, 6:15 p.m. ET: We received feedback from Microsoft shortly after the release to clarify any ambiguities in the blog post. Segoe UI is Microsoft’s Windows and Web UI font, while Calibri was the default font for user content (e.g. for Microsoft 365 apps). Regardless of which new font is declared the winner, it will specifically replace Calibri in this Microsoft 365 role.
Listing image by Microsoft