Microsoft Seeks to Replace Calibri as the Default Office Font

Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica:

“Calibri has been the default font for all things Microsoft since 2007, when it stepped in to replace Times New Roman across Microsoft Office,” the Microsoft Design Team opined in Calibri’s de facto obit. “It has served us all well, but we believe it’s time to evolve.”

Calibri is not quite Microsoft’s universal default. As far as I can tell, the default font for user interfaces is still a variant of Segoe, as it has been since Windows Vista’s debut.

As pictured above, the new potential default fonts are called Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. All five are sans serifs — shots fired at the legacy of Times New Roman — and the Microsoft Design Team made a case for each when unveiling these new options.

Last time Microsoft refreshed the default typography in Office, it introduced six typefaces beginning with C: three sans-serifs in Calibri, Candara, and Corbel; two serifs, Cambria and Constantia; and Consolas, a monospaced choice. And, while I have always disliked all of them except Corbel, I think Calibri’s default status has made it more grating over time. But that ubiquity also means it has featured in some pretty interesting stories in its time.

At first glance, I think these new ones are much nicer. My favourite is Seaford; unsurprisingly, it is the one Tobias Frere-Jones had a hand in creating. The lack of a serif option is disappointing.