May 17, 2021

Microsoft is retiring its default font and wants your help selecting a new one

Since 2007 the company has introduced five new custom typewriters to replace Calibri, a font that defaults to all your Word Docs and Outlook emails. Aesthetics).

Default fonts are designed to be unrestricted and adaptable, and Calibri has done just that. It renders well on any screen, any size, but it still has a little bit of character. Its subtle curves are slightly warmer than its blockchain Sans Serif cousins ​​Helvetica and Ariel, favorites of two famous designers – or infamous, in some circles – for their brutal simplicity and consistent stroke weight. (Sans Serif means no scroll bits at the edges of the characters)

However, the best feature of Calibri is that, apart from designers and typists, few notice it. This is the tofu of the type world. But 13 years later, Calibri seems to have dated a bit, and Microsoft wants to give your emails and documents a new coat of paint.

“The default font is often the first idea we create,” Microsoft wrote Website Announces change. “It is the visual identification we provide to others through our biodata, documents or emails. And the people around us and the world must be as expressive as our age and development.”

Although Calibri will retire by default next year, it will still be available in hundreds of Microsoft Office fonts.

Five Sans Serif competitors are here Microsoft (MSFT) Invites you to weigh yourself. You can post your favorites on social media Microsoft365


Denorite looks like a traditional working sans serif font, but a little friendly. It was designed by Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang and uses particularly large dots, accents and punctuation marks that are convenient to read in small sizes.

As the designers say on Microsoft’s blog, “We longed for something more rounded, wider and smoother.” We weren’t ashamed to go big and round. On many typewriters, the punctuation is too confusing to render on very dull, tight spaces or screens, where clarity is important. “


Pierstadt, designed by Steve Mateson, is an accurate serif inspired by Swiss designs in the middle of the century.

“Swiss typists were inspired by gruesome designs like the Helvetica because they were suitable for grid-based typography,” Matterson said. (Page note: “gruesome” at DesignSpeak is not disgusting – it refers to sans serifs.) “In today’s world, I believe the voice of a gruesome typewriter needs a human touch to feel more accessible and less company.”

The name comes from one of the 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado. “When I think of the Swiss genre, I think of the Alps, because I live in Boulder, my Alps Rockies,” Matteson said.


These Sans Sheriff clusters by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow may be humorous, while the body text or presentation may be as concise and readable as the titles.

“We wanted to create a humane sans serif with a generous ratio and more than the usual stroke variation (also known as the variation of weight between the thick and thin parts of the letter),” Hudson said. Skina’s “cross-cut terminals” are very unique.


This “gently organic and asymmetrical” sans serif by Tobias Freer-Jones, Nina Stasinger and Fred Schalkross is like a warm warmth, or a comfortable reading nose or a cup of tea. Something you have to roll in it. That’s what designers are going for.

“To point out some kind of familiarity … the typewriter had to be triggered. We also looked at pictures of old armchairs,” Stosinger said. “As for the chair, we’re going for a practical explanation of a beautiful family heirloom; no lasting set, apparently silk or nostalgia.”


This Sans Serif typeface by Aaron Bell is derived from the old German road and railway signage, which is clearly designed in the distance.

Its roots in signage give it a mechanical but sophisticated vibe.

“When I was first asked to create a font that retains the spirit and personality of the German industry standard (DIN) And The body text was more readable, and I do not think it’s possible, “said Bell.

How to vote

Choose carefully – it will affect every PowerPoint presentation you have to sit on for the next decade or more. Microsoft can tweet your favorite Here.