- Microsoft’s Design Team is asking typographophiles to vote for a new default font for Office 365.
- The team commissioned designers to make 5 new choices: Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview.
- The classic Times New Roman is not an option, and hasn’t been the default since 2007.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Move over, Calibri, there’s a new font in town – though which one will be the choice of voters.
On Wednesday, Microsoft’s Design Team put out a call asking for typographophiles to choose the new default font for the Office 365 software suite, which includes mainstay workplace apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
-Microsoft (@Microsoft) April 28, 2021
“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 said in its announcement.
Calibri has been the brand’s default font choice since 2007, when it replaced the classic Times New Roman. And no, Times New Roman is not one of the choices to vote on for the refresh.
The five new sans-serif choices are called Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview, and the designers of each offered their best argument for why typographophiles should choose theirs.
Tenorite designers Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang said they “we were craving something very round, wide, and crisp.”
“Because customers read and write long paragraphs of text within applications like Microsoft Word, more generous character spacing is helpful,” they said.
Bierstadt is inspired by “grotesque” fonts, which in typographical terms refers to block-style letters that lack fancy flourishes and contrasting line thickness.
“In today’s world, I believe a grotesque typeface’s voice needs a bit of a human touch to feel more approachable and less institutional,” designer Steve Matteson said.
In collaborating with John Hudson for Skeena, Paul Hanslow “wanted to cherry-pick from multiple typographic periods and force them to work together.”
Nina Stössinger, who worked with Tobias Frere-Jones and Fred Shallcrass, said her inspiration for Seaford was from looking at pictures of old armchairs.
Aaron Bell borrowed from an earlier font he designed to create Grandview, which he argues will have “better legibility and readability at smaller sizes on low-resolution devices.”
All five fonts are available now through the Office 365 cloud, and social feedback is encouraged on the company’s Twitter page.