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  • Even the Calibri Font’s Creator Is Glad Microsoft Will Have a New Default | WIRED

    For almost 15 years, Calibri has reigned as the default and therefore dominant font choice for Microsoft systems. It has appeared countless times in unformatted Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel spreadsheets, a typographical reprieve for the decision-paralyzed. But now there’s a new sans serif in town. Actually, five of them: Microsoft announced that it plans to replace Calibri as the default font with one of five new typefaces it released this week.

    It’s the end of an era, but Calibri’s designer, Lucas de Groot, has no qualms about letting his typeface rest for a bit. “It’s a relief,” he says.

    De Groot created Calibri in the early 2000s, as part of a collection of fonts for enhanced screen reading. “I designed it in quite a hurry,” he says. “I had some sketches already, so I adapted those and added these rounded corners to get some design feeling in it.” For a long time, computer displays lacked the pixel density to faithfully render all fonts; rounded corners appeared not as an arch but a stair. That changed in 2000 with Microsoft’s new ClearType technology, which optimized the resolution on LCD screens and made fonts like de Groot’s easier to read. The company liked Calibri enough to make it the default for Windows Vista in 2007.

    “I often think of this Roger Black quote, which says that fonts are basically like clothing for your ideas,” says Daniels. “So what we’re saying is that Calibri has gone out of fashion.”

    All five fonts are now available to use on Microsoft products that are connected to the cloud, and the company is inviting people to give feedback on which they like best. It will announce its selection of the new default later this year. Daniels can’t recall another time that Microsoft has crowd-tested its typefaces this way, but he believes it will lead to a better decision. Plus, providing people with options minimizes some of the pressure. “You give somebody one, then there’s a good chance it becomes polarizing,” Daniels says. “But if you give people five, almost everyone will have a favorite.”

    #Typographie #Calibri #Microsoft