• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023
Calibri Steps for Aptos: Microsoft’s Fresh Default Font for Office Applications

Microsoft is saying goodbye to its iconic default font, Calibri, after 15 years, and has introduced Aptos as the new default font for Microsoft Office. The decision was based on user feedback, with Aptos striking a balance between professionalism and relatability. Created by renowned designer Steve Mattson, the font reflects evolving display technology and enhances the overall user experience.

July 14, 2023 | 09:09 PM IST

Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font across Microsoft 365 apps

In an officer Blog post , Microsoft has announced the retirement of Calibri, the beloved default font that has graced Microsoft Office applications for the past 15 years. With the evolution of technology and the proliferation of high-resolution screens, Microsoft recognized the need for a new font that embodies sharpness, uniformity and excellence in display type. And so began the search for a worthy successor to Calibri.

After commissioning five new fonts: Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite, Microsoft sought user feedback to determine a suitable replacement for Calibri. Among the contenders, Bierstadt emerged as the front-runner, which resonated more with users. However, a change was in order and Bierstadt was now renamed Aptos.

Aptos was created by respected type designer Steve Mattson, inspired by the landscape and climate of Aptos, an unincorporated town located in Santa Cruz, California. Known for his work on the original Windows TrueType core fonts and Sego, Matson aimed to capture the town’s expertise in font design, evoking the essence of the outdoors and the timeless appeal of pencil and paper.

Aptos is a sans-serif font that incorporates elements of mid-20th century Swiss typography. Its cleanly cut stem edges and subtle rounded squares within the outline of the letters enhance legibility, especially in smaller sizes. Aptos strikes a balance between professionalism and relatability, with various font weights, tails for the heads of “i” and “j,” and distinctive features like a lowercase “l” with rounded dots.

Matson’s design process emphasizes preserving the craft of analog creation, starting with pencil and paper before transitioning to digital. This approach allows Aptos to retain its handmade warmth and humanity, engaging with readers and establishing trust.

Although Aptos becomes the default font across popular Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, Microsoft acknowledges that font choices are personal. Therefore, users will continue to have options such as Times New Roman, Arial, and other font competitors such as Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite to meet their personal preferences. The introduction of Aptos aligns with Microsoft’s broader initiative to make Microsoft 365 more expressive and inclusive, introducing users to a range of innovative features.

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