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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
April 28, 2021.

Microsoft needs your help in reading

Finding Microsoft’s next default font.

© Microsoft.

In 2022, Microsoft will discontinue Calibri, the default Office font since nearly 15 years. Microsoft wants everyone to have a say in the matter of five new bespoke fonts commissioned from leading typographers. Your choice will help determine the winner of these five sans serifs, which will become Office’s default font for many years to come:

  • Grandview, created by Aaron Bell, is a “bold” suggestion inspired by the extremely legible DIN 1451 font, long used in Germany for road signs.
  • Seaford, created by Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger and Fred Shallcrass, has gently organic and asymmetrical shapes that make it easy to read by emphasizing the differences between the letters.
  • Skeena, created by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow, is a humanist sans serif with modulated lines. A noticeable contrast between thick and thin lines gives it a distinctive character.
  • Bierstadt, created by Steve Matteson, is inspired by Swiss typography from the 1950s, and is in the tradition of Helvetica and Arial. The terminals (stroke ends) of the letters have 90-degree angles, a modern note that contrasts with the slanted and softer endings of Arial.
  • Tenorite, created by Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang, has warm, round shapes in the style of Adrian Frutiger’s Avenir, and is particularly readable.

The Microsoft Twitter account stands ready for your opinion and you can also try these new fonts in the Microsoft 365 apps. (Though we have a slight preference for Tenorite, we believe that Bierstadt will ultimately be chosen.)

The Verge, Tom Warren, “Microsoft is changing the default Office font and wants your help to pick a new one.”

Microsoft 365 Blog, The Microsoft Design Team, “Beyond Calibri: Finding Microsoft’s next default font.”



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