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Microsoft is phasing out the default Office font. Here’s what could replace it

Microsoft needs your help to shape the future of its Office suite of products. Five new default fonts are in the works for Microsoft 365 — which covers Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — and Microsoft is seeking out feedback for which one is best.

The five new potential default font families are now available as a download for testing and have various themes. The list includes fonts with the unique names of Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. There’s a separate artist behind each one, and the designs span different geometric, human, and industrial shapes, according to Microsoft.

“In typeface design, the space and shapes between letters is just as critical as the letter shapes themselves,” said the Microsoft design team.

The first of the fonts, going by the name Tenorite, resembles a modern sans-serif look but is a bit warmer and inspired by Trade Gothic, according to designers Erin McLaughlin and Wei Huang. The second font, Bierstadt, is also inspired by sans-serif but is more highly readable and more clear-cut, per designer Steve Matteson.

You can see these two fonts below. Note the unique stroke endings on Bierstadt and the narrow display style on Tenorite.

The remainder of the fonts — Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview — were designed by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow; Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stössinger, and Fred Shallcrass; and Aaron Bell, respectively. Each of these is based on sans-serif but has different feelings. You can see a preview of these three fonts below.

According to the designer, Skeena is meant to be used in the body text in long documents. Meanwhile, Seaford is meant to be a bit gentle and recognizable. Grandview is more for long-form reading and is quite legible under non-ideal viewing situations. We’ll let you be the judge.

Of course, everyone has their own taste, which is why Microsoft is looking for feedback. Once selected based on polls and other feedback from social media, Microsoft will evaluate which one to choose as the ultimate winner.

You can expect a final font to be picked in the year 2022, when it will replace Calibri as the default across Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the other Microsoft 365 apps.

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