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Calibri designer surprised at Microsoft move to replace font

Microsoft shared this graphic when it announced Wednesday it will replace Calibri as its default font. Image courtesy of Microsoft
Microsoft shared this graphic when it announced Wednesday it will replace Calibri as its default font. Image courtesy of Microsoft

May 3 (UPI) -- The man who designed the Calibri font weighed in Monday on Microsoft's move to replace it as a default typeface after 14 years.

Luc(as) de Groot -- a Berlin-based Dutch type designer who created "his superfamily Thesis: The Sans, TheSerif, TheMix, The Antiqua, with monospaced and even Arabic variants," according to his company website -- was surprised by the move.

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"I had not expected it to kind of be replaced already," he said during a video call from his Berlin home with CNBC, adding it was probably about keeping up with contemporary-style trends.

The san-serif font Calibri has been the default font for Microsoft Office's applications such as Word and Excel, and their 1.2 billion users, according to a blog, since it replaced Times New Roman in 2007. Calibri has been a popular choice for resumes and the typeface has cracked legal cases involving forgeries.

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"It has served us all well, but we believe it's time to evolve," The Microsoft Design Team announced Wednesday. "To help us set a new direction, we've commissioned five original, custom fonts to eventually replace Calibri as the default."

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One of the new custom fonts is Tenorite by Eric McLaughlin and Wei Huang, which is similar to Times New Roman, but has "a warmer, more friendly style," according to the Microsoft Design Team.

A second is Bierstadt by Steve Matteson, which was inspired by mid-20th century Swiss typography.

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A third was Skeena by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow, "based on the shapes of traditional serif text typefaces."

The fourth was Seaford, by designers Tobias Frere-Jones, Nina Stossinger and Fred Shallcrass, which has a "comfortable familiarity" since it has been "rooted in the design of old-style serif text."

The fifth, Grandview by Aaron Bell, was "derived from classic German road and railway signage."

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Microsoft asked the public to comment on their favorite out of the new fonts in a social media post.

De Groot told CNBC he had looked at the five fonts and his favorite was the Seaford.

"It has a very strong design, and I would love to see this as the new default," he said. "It's not absolutely neutral, but I think it's a very nice design."

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