Microsoft wants your assistance in selecting Office’s next default font

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Microsoft wants your assistance in selecting Office's next default font
Image: Microsoft – Hear, Calibri. Listen. This is not you, it is Microsoft. This is not you. After fifteen years, today Microsoft has announced five new custom fonts to commission—one of which will replace the default font of Calibri.

Since 2007, when Microsoft entered the Times New Roman replacement office, Calibri was the most common source for everything in Microsoft. We all have done it good, but it’s time for us to develop,” said Microsoft on a blog. The blog itself makes fonts a long ode, well, fonts but the general principle is that Microsoft wants users to weigh on which font the default is.

Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford and Grandview are the five new fonts. These are all sans-serif styles which cover “humanist, geometric, Swiss and industrial” vibes (meaning, no strings at the end of the letters). You can immerse yourself in Microsoft’s design ethos and glimpse what it looks like. But if you’re not reading floral fonts prose all day, this is the TL;DR.

Tenorite is the geometrically more unserifiable fountain which is inspired by trade Gothic and narrower than Calibri. Bierstadt is a more modern and Swiss-inspired typeface (of which Helvetica is the most famous example). It’s like Arial, but rather like “Arial, but let it get less soft.”

The more “humanist” typeface, however, is Skeena. This appears to mean slightly curved with a higher stroke contrast or variations from thick to thin letter parts. Seaford is meant to be a jump back to “Serif text types” in the old style, but when the serifs are removed. In the meantime, Grandview takes out traditional German signage.

Microsoft plans to choose one of these five fonts by 2022, according to The Verge. In reality, Microsoft 365 subscribers can now try it off by downloading it as Cloud fonts. The stakes here are not very high. Microsoft says that all five will still be available even if your favorite won’t be selected as default (along with Calibri). But if you feel competitive with the default font, Microsoft will encourage people to tell them through Twitter. While Microsoft is sure to ask people to express views on Twitter, everywhere, try not to be the troll who asks, ‘What about Papyrus?’ Clearly Bauhaus 93 or Bleeding Cowboys should be trolls.