‘It’s time to evolve’: Microsoft to replace default Calibri font after 14 years

April 30, 2021 - 7:15 PM
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Person browsing computer
A girl using a laptop. (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

Microsoft announced that it would change its long-time default font Calibri after 14 years since they believe it is “time to evolve.”

It has been used as the standard font for all Microsoft Office files and Outlook e-mails since 2007, replacing its predecessors Times New Roman and Arial in the early days of the software.

Calibri has a subtly rounded design which was described by its designer Luc(as) de Groot as having a “warm and soft character.”

However, the tech giant on Wednesday said that it will already retire the font as the default option across the Office and allow users to choose what they think would best succeed it.

“A default font is often the first impression we make; it’s the visual identity we present to other people via our resumes, documents, or emails. And just as people and the world around us age and grow, so too should our modes of expression,” the team of Microsoft Design said on their website.

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

Users have the chance to pick the next default font by commenting on which they think would best serve as a replacement.

The contenders are five new original, custom fonts commissioned by the tech giant which are Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview.

Tenorite is described as having “the overall look of a traditional workhorse sans serif (a font without a serif, or a stroke at the ends, like Times New Roman), but with a warmer, more friendly style.”

Bierstadt is “a precise, contemporary sans serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography” which has a “versatile typeface that expresses simplicity and rationality in a highly readable form.”

Skeena is described as “a ‘humanist’ sans serif based on the shapes of traditional serif text typefaces” with “modulated” strokes.

Seaford is a “sans serif typeface that is rooted in the design of old-style serif text typefaces and evokes their comfortable familiarity.”

Grandview, meanwhile, is described as a “sans serif typeface derived from classic German road and railway signage, which was designed to be legible at a distance and under poor conditions.”

Some Filipinos gamely shared their own thoughts and made suggestions following the announcement of the default font change.

“Mahirap man i-spell at i-pronounce pero Bierstadt talaga best. Tenorite is next but I really prefer Bierstadt’s lowercase a, g, and l, and its compactness,” a Twitter user said.

“Bierstadt is perfect. Grandview is better for Linux. Seaford sucks.
Absolutely f*ck Skeena. Tenorite is an Avenir clone,” wrote another online user.

“Grandview, sizz. Pweds din Bierstadt. ‘Wag lang Skeena,” a different Filipino commented.

“Verdana, Century Gothic, or Palatino Linotype. Lol (laugh out loud). I like Tenorite, tho. I’ll miss you, Calibri,” another Twitter user said.

Microsoft explained that default fonts “communicate a distinct personality in their own quiet way.”

“A personality that by extension becomes our personality as well,” it added.

The tech giant said that Calibri will still be available as a font option while the five new fonts can now be used via the cloud across Microsoft 365 apps.