In a move that could subtly alter the landscape of digital documentation, Microsoft Office is bidding adieu to Calibri font, its default font since 2007, and is on the hunt for a fresh face to grace its suite of productivity tools.
This decision may seem minor, but it carries significant implications for the millions of users who interact with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft Office applications on a daily basis. Calibri, with its soft, rounded corners and clean lines, has been the silent workhorse of Microsoft Office for over a decade. It replaced Times New Roman, a font that had become synonymous with the software suite, and now finds itself on the brink of retirement.
Calibri Font Successors
Microsoft has commissioned five typeface designers to create potential successors, each bringing a unique aesthetic to the table. The contenders are Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview, each with its own personality and design philosophy. Tenorite, for instance, is a modern take on the classic office font, with wide characters and large dots and accents, making it extremely readable even at small sizes.
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Bierstadt, on the other hand, is a precise, contemporary sans-serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography. Skeena, another candidate, is a “humanist” sans-serif typeface, with varying thicknesses that make it ideal for longer texts. Seaford is an organic, asymmetric design that aims to improve readability by emphasizing the differences between letterforms. Lastly, Grandview is derived from classic German road and railway signage, designed for legibility at a distance or at small sizes.
The winner? Aptos, a font named after a municipality in Santa Cruz, California. This sharp, readable font will replace Calibri in most instances.
This move is a testament to the tech giant’s commitment to user experience, recognizing that even a detail as seemingly small as a default font can have a profound impact on productivity and usability.
In the heart of Silicon Valley, where tech trends often originate, this change could ripple out to influence design choices in other software applications. As we wait for the final decision, it’s clear that the humble font, often overlooked, is getting its moment in the spotlight.