I have been working on a new project for a client and the topic of fonts came up today. I thought it would be interesting to find some facts on different fonts, what they are used for and where they came from.
Created in the 1990’s by Matthew Carter, Tahoma was first distributed with Windows 95. Tahoma was also the standard Windows font for Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 replacing MS Sans Serif. Made by the same guy around the same time, Verdana was created for Microsoft and shipped with Windows 95 as well. Verdana was intended to be an easy to read screen font for use with small text sizes on low resolution monitors.
Arial has been around forever and has been bundled with Windows 3.1 onwards. It was designed to be used in place of Helvetica, and has exactly the same size metrics. Helvetica is an font created in 1957, and has been very popular in print. IBM used Arial on a number of printers and typewriters in the 1980s as well. US tax forms use Helvetica as do a lot of road signs.
Calibri is relatively new and ships with all Windows versions after and including Windows Vista and is the standard MS Office font in versions since Office 2007. Funny fact: Some documents signed and dated as pre-2006 have been identified as false because they use the Calibri font. Calibri was unavailable pre-2007 and has only been the default MS Office font since 2007.