Microsoft Wants Your Assist to Choose a Default Workplace Font

Microsoft needs your help building the future of its Office suite of products. Five new standard fonts are in the works for Microsoft 365 – covering Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – and Microsoft is looking for feedback on which is best.

The five new potential standard font families are now available for download for testing and have different themes. The list includes fonts with the unique names Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. Each has a separate artist behind them, and the designs include various geometric, human, and industrial shapes, according to Microsoft.

"In font design, the spacing and shapes between letters are just as important as the letter shapes themselves," said the Microsoft design team.

The first of the typefaces, named Tenorite, resembles a modern sans serif look, but is a little 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 according to designer Steve Matteson, it is more legible and clearer.

You can see these two fonts below. Note the unique line ends at Bierstadt and the narrow display style at Tenorite.

The rest 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 them 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 intended to be used in body text in long documents. Meanwhile, Seaford is supposed to be a bit gentle and recognizable. Grandview is more suitable for reading in long form and is easy to read in less than 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 surveys and other social media feedback, Microsoft will evaluate which will be selected as the final winner.

Expect a final font to be selected in 2022, replacing Calibri as the default in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the other Microsoft 365 apps.

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