Paul L. Caron

Saturday, January 21, 2023

State Department Shifts From Times New Roman To Calibri To Make Paperwork More 'Inclusive'

New York Times, Citing Accessibility, State Department Ditches Times New Roman for Calibri:

Times New Roman Calibri 2Wading into a debate that has divided designers and accessibility experts for decades, the United States Department of State said this week that it would stop using the Times New Roman typeface, replacing it with the sans-serif typeface Calibri.

The change will go into effect Feb. 6 and apply to all of the department’s formal communications, Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the department’s first chief diversity officer, said in an interview on Wednesday. The change will help make the department’s paperwork more “fully inclusive,” she said. ...

Designers choosing a font are focusing more on accessibility in recent decades, and considering whether characteristics of some popular fonts can make them more difficult for people to read and understand. That applies especially to those with visual or learning disabilities. ...

The department has used Times New Roman since 2004, when it switched from another serif font, Courier New.

Washington Post, A Font Feud Brews After State Dept. Picks Calibri Over Times New Roman:

In a cable sent Tuesday and obtained by The Washington Post, Secretary of State Antony Blinken directed the department to use a larger sans-serif font in high-level internal documents, and gave the department’s domestic and overseas offices until Feb. 6 to “adopt Calibri as the standard font for all requested papers.”

The Times (New Roman) are a-Changin,” read the subject line.

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