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Microsoft Asks Users to Vote on New Default Font

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What will be the new face of Microsoft text?

Every once in a while, Microsoft changes up their OS’ default typing font. For a long time, it was Times New Roman, and then starting in 2007, they switched it to Calibri. While it may seem like an insignificant change, a default font can subtly alter one’s perceptions of things they look at. Can you imagine what it’d be like if the default font for Windows was Comic Sans? No one would ever take it seriously ever again.

Now that Calibri has had its time in the light, Microsoft has commissioned several font designers to dream up five candidates for the coveted default spot, each slightly different but also simple enough to serve as an effective baseline font. These fonts are as follows:

  1. TENORITE by Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang
  2. BIERSTADT by Steve Matteson
  3. SKEENA by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow
  4. SEAFORD by Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger, and Fred Shallcrass
  5. GRANDVIEW by Aaron Bell

“While default fonts may not have the same flair as some of their more eye-catching cousins (we’re looking at you, Bauhaus 93 and Showcard Gothic), they communicate a distinct personality in their own quiet way—a personality that by extension becomes our personality as well,” Microsoft wrote in their announcement. “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.”

Microsoft is calling on Twitter users to decide on their favorite font candidate. They’ll be monitoring the tags over the next few months, and whichever font gets the most buzz will be set as the new Windows default. Don’t worry if the one you like doesn’t win, though; all five of them will be made available, and you can also switch back to Calibri should the interest strike you.