Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Typefaces for Windows 8

I have been fiddling with the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, looking at the new fonts. Bear in mind it is only a preview, so there could be more on the way, but probably not.
The biggest surprise is that the infamous Comic Sans finally gets a legitimate italic and bold italic, instead of having to rely on slanted letters for an oblique version. In the book "Just My Type" there is this joke:
Comic Sans goes into a bar, and the barman says: "We don't serve your type".

Above is the new Windows 8 version. Note the "b" and "t" in the italic. Below is how XP, Vista and Windows 7 treat the same font family:

Given all the hoopla about the new "Metro" interface I was expecting a new Metro font. It's called Segoe UI Semilight, and it joins the rest of the Segoe UI family, which first appeared in Office 2007 and Windows Vista. Segoe UI now has the 4 standard variations, plus Light, Semilight and Semibold. Gadugi (Regular, Bold); Myanmar Text; and Nirmala UI (Regular, Bold) appear to be new variations of Segoe UI for other languages, probably Cherokee, Burmese, and various Indian and regional Asian languages. Aldhabi has arabic characters and some interesting swirls, as well as Latin characters. It looks like a small letter version of Times New Roman or Calisto MT.
I have also been having fun with Typograf, a wonderful font utility and font manager. I plan to buy it at the end of the month.

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