Microsoft has been using Calibri as the default font across Office applications and services since 2007, replacing Times New Roman and Arial. Now there’s a new default font coming to a Word document near you: Aptos.
Back in 2021, Microsoft released five new fonts it commissioned as possible replacements for Calibri. The new fonts — Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview — have been available for use in Microsoft 365 applications and services since then. Bierstadt was apparently the most popular out of those options, and it now becoming the default font, but with a name change to Aptos. The font will become the default for new Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents, and it will also be used in Outlook.
Microsoft explained in a blog post, “The typeface was created by Steve Matteson, one of the world’s leading type designers. His previous work includes the development of the original Windows TrueType core fonts and the creation of Segoe. Steve renamed the typeface he designed from Bierstadt to Aptos after his favorite unincorporated town in Santa Cruz, California, whose widely ranging landscape and climate epitomizes the font’s versatility. The fog, beaches, redwood trees, and mountains of Aptos summed up everything that he loved about California. Getting away from digital and evoking the outdoors was akin to getting back to pencil and paper. Drawing letters by hand would play a pivotal role in Steve’s creative process.”
The font’s new name comes from Aptos, California, with the town’s “widely ranging landscape and climate epitomizes the font’s versatility,” according to Microsoft. The previous name came from Mount Bierstadt in Colorado, which in turn was named after painter Albert Bierstadt who climbed the mountain in 1863. The name can translate to “Beer Town” in English. Microsoft’s blog post didn’t give a specific reason for the change from Bierstadt to Aptos, except “as there was a change of guard so too the name.”
You’ll still be able to change the default font in all Microsoft 365 applications, just as you can right now, if you’re not a fan of the new look. It also won’t be automatically applied to any existing documents, so you don’t need to worry about sudden formatting changes or other potential issues.