Microsoft seldom modifies the default font in its office software. The last time this happened was in 2007, when Calibri took over for Times New Roman. After fourteen years, Microsoft wants to do it again, but this time with the assistance of Microsoft 365 customers. Users must select one of the five custom fonts commissioned by Microsoft, but even though your favourite does not prevail, Microsoft will keep all of them available in Microsoft 365 applications.
The five new fonts available for the taking are called Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. Microsoft’s Design Team will evaluate the fonts for the next few months alongside cloud app users and expects them to expose their opinion through social media after testing them out.
Tenorite’s designers describe their font as a “warmer, more friendly” sans-serif. It includes elements like large dots, accents, and punctuation that can make it easier to read on smaller screens, as well as larger characters for a more open appearance.
Bierstadt’s style is more detailed and contemporary, “inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography.” Its plain and straightforward characters give it a more “blocky” look, close to that of ‘Helvetica.’
Skeena is the most distinctive of the bunch. The designers developed a humanist font with differing thickness across all characters based on “multiple typographic periods,” Despite its suitability for text walls, it still works well in shorter text sections including panels, presentations, and brochures.
Seaford is an old-school serif font that should be common to most people. Seaford, with its asymmetric shapes and distinct personalities, evokes a relaxed feeling when reading material written with it.
We need to talk. What should our next default font be? pic.twitter.com/fV9thfdAr4
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) April 28, 2021
Grandview is similar to the font used on German roads and trains, which means it can be viewed from a long distance, even in poor weather. Because of its heritage, this font was intended for short passages in narrow spaces, but the designer’s small modifications enable it to be used in body text as well.
If you use a Microsoft app that has access to cloud fonts, such as Outlook for Microsoft 365, you can try out the latest fonts. To test the new cloud fonts, open the app when connecting to the Internet, navigate to File > Account > Manage Settings, and allow ‘Optional connected experiences’ under Account Privacy.