Calibri, if you have no idea about, is the default font you see in Microsoft’s office suite. If you have been on Windows, even if you don’t have Microsoft Office installed (which I don’t assume a lot of us wouldn’t), you have been using this font for quite a while now. It’s not just in Microsoft Office, but also the default font in WordPad since Windows 7.
I don’t hate any font in particular. That being said, I don’t literally hate Comic Sans. I just hate what it turned out to be. The hatred for Comic Sans is a result in it’s over-usage for purposes beyond its aesthetic value. There was a time when everybody used Comic Sans instead of Times New Roman. That only saved Times New Roman from the hatred, but resulted in extreme hatred for Comic Sans. I have even seen it in a medical form for my dad. Really? Comic Sans! What message does a Comic Sans font convey when the message conveys an urgency or emergency? It’s silly to think that people didn’t pay attention to the name of the font itself. It is ‘comic’. Even Vincent Connare would argue why Comic Sans was hated so much – because it was overused for different meaningless purposes outside the scope of the font itself.
Things have seemed to change now. Comic Sans is of the past. I don’t see people using Comic Sans in documents, in emails (but sometimes in email signatures – argh!!). But what I foresee now, is the next Comic Sans – the next most hated font which will be Calibri. Why I say this is because – people still use Microsoft Office suite. Either in desktop, or in the web. Since the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007 in January 2007, we were introduced to a new font. It was clean and pleasant for the time. Everybody at that time was getting bored of Times New Roman and serif fonts. It was a change. It was welcoming.
But it is 2014 now. 7 years have passed. People still use Microsoft Office. Or at least people still deal with documents prepared in Microsoft Office. What is the result? Over use of Calibri everywhere. In documents, billboards, flex-cards, invitations. I just joined recently in a new company. The first thing I noticed when I got my offer-letter was the font used. Yeah, it turned out to be Calibri.
Calibri ftw! Are you least interested in font-family, font-face, ermm typography? Just go ahead to SlideShare, and search for some random presentation. I am very sure at least 6 out of 10 presentations you see must have used Calibri.
Maybe this is just my opinion. Helvetica was around since the 1950s. People aren’t bored of it. I deal with Helvetica almost everyday because I design for iOS. I am not bored of Helvetica. I still like it. It’s indeed an evergreen font.
As aforementioned, I don’t hate a particular font. I am not a naysayer attacking Calibri. It’s just that it pisses me off seeing Calibri everywhere (especially in presentations and print documents ALWAYS). I’m sure just like how a group of people (or let’s say an infinite groups of people) hate ComicSans at this point, there will be another group hating Calibri very soon. But why hate the font? Use the alternatives. There are 1000s fonts available for free. Like for example, Open Sans, Source Sans, Roboto, or Arimo.
The original article was featured on LinkedIn Pulse on 9th June 2014. Read it here
Update (11/07/17) : Calibri amidst political controversy in Pakistan. Read here.