A Font Feud Brews After State Dept. Picks Calibri Over Times New Roman – Slashdot


The U.S. State Department is going sans serif: It has directed staff at home and overseas to phase out the Times New Roman font and adopt Calibri in official communications and memos, in a bid to help employees who are visually impaired or have other difficulties reading. From a report: 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. Blinken’s cable said the shift to Calibri will make it easier for people with disabilities who use certain assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to read department communication. The change was recommended by the secretary’s office of diversity and inclusion, but the decision has already ruffled feathers among aesthetic-conscious employees who have been typing in Times New Roman for years in cables and memos from far-flung embassies and consulates around the world. “A colleague of mine called it sacrilege,” said a Foreign Service officer in Asia, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy changes. “I don’t mind the decision because I hate serifs, but I don’t love Calibri.”



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