Microsoft is refreshing its look and changing its new default font for the first time in 15 years.
Aptos, a sans-serif font, will be the successor of Calibri, the company’s current default typeface for Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Word starting today.
It was one of five fonts that the tech giant added to the drop-down font picker months ago. After gathering user feedback, Microsoft decided to rename Bierstadt to its current name, Aptos.
“Today we begin the final phase of this major change where Aptos will start appearing as the new default font across Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel for hundreds of millions of users,” the company shared in a blog post.
Aptos was created by renowned typeface designer Steve Matteson and was named after his favorite town in Santa Cruz, California, to capture the font’s versatility.
Matteson, who worked on brand typography for companies such as Toyota and Google, designed the new default font to be more universal and less mechanical, “with a slight human touch."
He also notes the “universal appeal” of NPR newscaster Carl Kasell and the “astute tone” of American host Stephen Colbert from The Late Night Snow as some of his inspirations.
“There’s always that little voice inside of me saying, ‘You know, you gotta try to sneak in a little bit of humanity. You can’t just use rulers and straight edges and French curves to make all these shapes mechanical.’ I did that by adding a little swing to the R and the double stacked g,” he explained.
According to the company, Aptos will come with a variation of different font weights that help set modes and direct the reader’s attention.
“Now the lowercase l has a distinctive tail, separating it from the capital I. The heads of i’s and j’s are circular dots as opposed to grotesque squares. 6 is single stroked while two piled ellipticals make 8,” the company shared.
Aptos will roll out as the default font in Microsoft Office and 365 apps starting today and throughout the coming months.