Goodbye, Calibri: 15 years later, Microsoft will change Office’s default font to one of these five
It was 2007 when Microsoft last changed the default font for Microsoft Office. After many years using the always reliable Times New Roman, Microsoft abandoned it to make Calibri the default font for everything Microsoft. 15 years have passed since then and it’s time to modernize things.
And it is that the Microsoft design team has just announced that the time has come to change the typography. To do this, he has commissioned five new custom fonts and it will be the users who (in part) choose what, in the future, will be the new default font of the Microsoft ecosystem. We are going to know them below, but not before highlighting that those who want to try them can do it in Microsoft 365 from now on.
Five fonts to choose from
The fonts designed for Microsoft have been dubbed Tenorite (Erin McLaughlin y Wei Huang), Bierstadt (Steve Matteson), Skeena (John Hudson y Paul Hanslow), Seaford (Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger and Fred Shallcrass) and Grandview (Aaron Bell). All of them are in a sans-serif style and, in turn, opt for humanistic, geometric, Swiss and industrial designs.
Although at first glance they may seem very similar, the truth is that there are substantial differences. In the image above you can see the same text written with Calibri (for reference) and with the five fonts. If we look at mouths like “e” and “a” and consonants like “t”, we can see that they are not exactly the same. This is how Microsoft defines them:
“Tenorite has the general look of a traditional sans-serif font (a font without serif or stroke at the ends, such as Times New Roman), but with a warmer and friendlier style. Elements such as large dots, accents, and punctuation they make Tenorite comfortable to read in small sizes on the screen, and the sharp shapes and wide characters create an overall feeling of openness. “
“Bierstadt is a precise and contemporary sans-serif typeface inspired by the Swiss typeface of the mid-20th century. Bierstadt is a versatile typeface that expresses simplicity and rationality in a highly readable way, and is also remarkably clear with stroke endings that emphasize order and moderation “.
“Skeena is a” humanistic “sans-serif typeface based on the shapes of traditional serif typefaces. Its strokes are modulated, with a striking contrast between thick and thin and a distinctive cut applied to the ends of many of Skeena is ideal for body text in long documents, as well as shorter passages that often appear in presentations, brochures, tables and reports. “
“Seaford is a sans-serif typeface that has its roots in the design of ancient serif typefaces and evokes their comfortable familiarity. Its smoothly organic and asymmetrical shapes aid reading by highlighting the differences between the letters, creating thus more recognizable word forms. “
“Grandview is a sans-serif typeface derived from classic German road and rail signage, which was designed to be readable from a distance and in poor condition. Grandview was designed for use in body text, but retains the same high-readability qualities, with subtle adjustments made for long-form reading. “
All offer good readability and they are more modern than Calibri. In the end, that is what motivates the change. Just like explain from Microsoft, “A default font is often the first impression we make; it is the visual identity we present to other people.” Calibri, explains the Redmond company, “has served us all well, but we think it’s time to evolve.”
As we said before, the fonts can now be tested in Microsoft 365. Those who are interested can give Microsoft feedback and participate in the selection process. The chosen one will become Microsoft’s default font for future products.