Calibari, we hardly knew you. Microsoft’s default font for all of its office products (and built-in apps like WordPad) is on its way and the company now needs your help to get a new one. Let’s judge the options!
You probably don’t think much about Kalibari, if you think about fonts, but in this context it’s a good thing. A default font should be something you don’t notice and don’t feel the need to change unless you want something specific. Of course the switch from Times New Roman in 2007 was controversial – a lot of feathers from a serif default to a sans serif default. Ultimately this turned out to be a good decision and TNR is still usually the default for cerif-specified text anyway.
To be clear, this is for user-created items, such as Word files. The font used by Microsoft in Windows and other official brand things is Sego UI, and there are some other omissions mixed in as well. But from now on, creating a new document in the Office product will default to using one of these, and others as an option.
Changing the calibration with a more friendly-looking Universal Sans Serif font would be a far less dramatic change than in 2007, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold opinions on it. Oh no. We are going to join it. Unfortunately Microsoft’s options for viewing only text, other than writing it in its own 365 app, are tweets (not all letters) or some colorful but informative graphic presentations. So we (and by that I mean Darrell) created their own small sample to judge:
You can see Grandview is missing. We will reach it. Start from the top:
KalibariHere, for reference, is an ineffective, rather narrow font. It derives its favorable presence from the tips of letters, which are as if they were afraid that children might run into them. It didn’t really come to us in low resolutions in 2007, but now it is more obvious and is actually a bit weird, it looks a bit like magnetic fridge letters.
Bierstadt I have my pick and I think what Microsoft will choose. The first is that it has a different lowercase L, which I think is important. Second, it does not try to do anything cute with its terminals. The T ends up without curling up, and has no distracting tail on A among other things – sadly the most common letter, lowercase E, is ugly, like Chipta Theta. Someone fix it It is practical, clear, and gives you no reason to choose a different font. In the first place. Congratulations, designer Steve Matteson.
Tenorite Mine is a backup pick, as it is good for the default font, but less practical. Geometric sans serifs (look at big fat “dogs, all circles) look great in medium size, but small they make for weird, wide spacing. Look at how Bierstadt makes narrow and wide letters comparable in width, while In Tenorite they are super uneven, yet both are near the same total length. Also, no, we did “This is Tenorite.” That’s how it unfolded. Someone fix it! in the second place.
Skina, Other than you sounding like a monster fighting in an RPG, sounds like a tedious one. Especially for Monaco, the font we all remember from early versions of MacOS (eg System 7). Variable thicknesses and attached tails make for an interesting look in the larger type, but in the small it just feels awkward. Best E of the bunch, but something is wrong with G, maybe. Someone may need to fix it. third place.
Seaford An interesting one, but it is very trying with these angular ends and terminals. Lowercase k and are a terrible one, like a broken pretzel. J Looks like someone kicked i. It seems that it was too much to eat and is resting its stomach on the ground. And do not push me on the folded strips of italic w. Someone fix it I like the extra strong bold and the G really works, but it would really bug me to use it every day. fourth place.
Huge view Not presented properly to us. It resembled regular dingbats, but was fine in bold and italic. Someone fix it Luckily I believe this will not be the next default. It’s not bad at all, but it is inhuman, robotic. It seems that the terminal font is of no use. See how an opportunity is taken for a straight line? Good for a logo – feels strong structurally – but a paragraph of it will look like a barcode. Use this for H2 stuff. last place.
So what should you do “Vote” by tweeting hard at MicrosoftThe Maybe it doesn’t matter. I’m guessing they’ve already picked one. The Bierstadt is the smart pick, as it is generally good while all others are situational. If only they would fix that damn e.