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New Microsoft Office default font

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SapereAude

I recently saw an announcement that Microsoft has introduced an entirely new default, sans serif typeface for Microsoft Office. The new font is called Aptos, and it's purported to be more "inclusive" -- whatever that's supposed to mean.

 

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/07/microsoft-changes-default-font-in-word-and-other-apps-for-the-first-time-since-2007/

 

I'm old enough that I still regard Arial as the default, and I regard Calibri as a bit of an upstart. So it's amusing to me when I read articles proclaiming that Calibri is too old and had been around for too many years.

 

If the articles are correct, we will soon all be able to download not only Aptos but also the other four candidates for the new default font. I'm curious if any of you have any thoughts on the new font(s), and if anyone besides Microsoft sees any need for yet another default sans serif typeface in Office.

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Ralf Herrmann
20 hours ago, SapereAude said:

has introduced an entirely new default, sans serif typeface

It’s not that new. It is a new name for the typeface previously known as Bierstadt. 

At least Calibri had a unique look. Aptos is just yet another font in the Univers-look-alike category, that keeps growing since decades. Apple uses San Francisco as default in that style. Google has Roboto. And now Microsoft follows with Aptos. 

Bored Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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SapereAude
6 hours ago, Ralf Herrmann said:

It’s not that new. It is a new name for the typeface previously known as Bierstadt. 

 

True, but according to Microsoft, Bierstadt was designed specifically for them in 2021, so it's still fairly new -- and, as you point out, rather bland.

 

Maybe that's what they mean by "inclusive" -- bland and boring enough that it won't give offense to anyone (except those who don't like bland and boring typography).

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Riccardo Sartori
On 7/22/2023 at 9:32 PM, SapereAude said:

any of you have any thoughts on the new font(s)

As a general purpose text font, Seaford is arguably the best of the bunch. Skeena is interesting and somewhat nostalgic, but modulated sans are tricky and there it is the risk that it would render not always at its best on screen. Grandview is well made, but I’m not sure we needed another DIN from Microsoft. Tenorite at least will give Office users a geometric sans alternative to Century Gothic. Bierstadt/Aptos, as noted by Ralf, is Microsoft’s Inter: the blandest knock-off of an already tired fad.

On 7/22/2023 at 9:32 PM, SapereAude said:

anyone besides Microsoft sees any need for yet another default sans serif typeface in Office

Microsoft has a history of catching up with the “cool kids” (even the US Government had its closed counters neo-grotesque before them), and from time to time they need something new to show in order to boost Office’s marketing.

Calibri’s roundness was a good gimmick to showcase Clearview capabilities (and to acknowledge the many people that preferred the warmth of Comic Sans to the spindly appearance of the then default Times New Roman).

I imagine that they will push the variable capabilities of the new fonts (catching up, as I said), and perhaps some AI assisting to set them at their best.

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