207. Microsoft's Cleartype.
Oct 17, 2008 at 10:30AM

Microsoft first released their Cleartype system back in 1998. So they've been around for awhile, but for mac-based professionals, there hasn't been much to talk about until a new set of font families were included in the somewhat-recent Office 2008. (Our agency just updated this week.) I have to admit, I don't know too much about Cleartype (besides what I can read here) and all that it can do. But, I can comment on the new font families, with a little more authority.


Microsoft partnered with the Ascender Corporation and several type designers to improve the default fonts in the Office suite, and i think overall, it's a definite improvement. From the Ascender website: "each typeface family in the Microsoft ClearType Font Collection has its own personality and flair that are the hallmark of their particular designer:"

You can download a pdf - not quite a type specimen, but still interesting - about the new releases at the Ascender link above. (Look toward the bottom of the page.) The best place to test-drive the families are here.

At first blush, Calibri looks to be the most useful and is set as the default sans. It is similar to Computer Modern Sans, but is a nice substitute. Looks to have been rendered with expert hands. I am happy they put a lot of energy in the monospace font, Consolas. Monospace fonts oftentimes get half the attention they deserve. Constantia will be used a lot, no doubt for long copy formats - though I have yet to view anything set in this face. It has a chiseled feel, with it's wedge serifs. I am hoping to work with these fonts and see how well they are taking advantage of OpenType features, how well the ligatures are rendered and substitute glyphs and such. If you have done a project using any of these faces, please share. 

From the Ascender PDF:

Update on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:05AM by Registered Commenterjj

Ah, I found an old article (and very in-depth review) of these faces here via Typographica.

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