Various uses of Segoe by Microsoft
The Microsoft logo containing a square icon of four individual colored squares in red, green, blue, and yellow, and the word Microsoft in gray
Microsoft's current logo.
The Office logo containing a red icon depicting a stylized box outline and the word Office in red
The Microsoft Office logo used for Office 2013 and Office 2016.

Segoe (/ˈsɡ/ SEE-goh) is a typeface, or family of fonts, that is best known for its use by Microsoft. The company uses Segoe in its online and printed marketing materials, including recent logos for a number of products. Additionally, the Segoe UI font sub-family is used by numerous Microsoft applications, and may be installed by applications (such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Live Messenger 2009). It was adopted as Microsoft's default operating system font beginning with Windows Vista, and is also used on outlook.com, Microsoft's web-based email service. In August 2012, Microsoft unveiled its new corporate logo typeset in Segoe, replacing the logo it had used for the previous 25 years.[1]

The Segoe name is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation, although the typeface was originally developed by Monotype.

History

Segoe was designed by Steve Matteson during his employment at Agfa Monotype. Licensed to Microsoft for use as a branding typeface and user interface font, it was designed to be friendly and legible. Matteson created a range of weights and italics with a humanist feel.

Licensing controversy

In 2004, Microsoft registered certain Segoe and Segoe Italic fonts as original font designs with the European Union trademark and design office. The German font foundry Linotype protested, citing Segoe UI's similarity to its licensed Frutiger family of typefaces. In its submission to the EU, Microsoft claimed that Linotype had failed to prove that it had been selling Frutiger and Frutiger Next prior to 2004.

The EU rejected these claims, and in February 2006, the EU revoked Microsoft's registration.[2] Microsoft did not appeal the decision. Microsoft still holds United States design patents for various Segoe-based fonts.

During the same period, in late 2004, after six years under the Agfa Corporation, the Monotype assets were acquired by TA Associates and the company was incorporated as Monotype Imaging. Later, in August 2006, Monotype Imaging acquired Linotype.[3] So at the end of 2006, Linotype, the company that had challenged the validity of Microsoft's Segoe patents, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Monotype, the company that had originally licensed Segoe to Microsoft.

The clearest differences (from top to bottom) Segoe UI, Frutiger, and Segoe
The clearest differences (from top to bottom) Segoe UI, Frutiger, and Segoe

Several letters have distinctly different forms in Segoe UI and Frutiger, reflecting Segoe UI's different intended use: low-resolution screen display, rather than airport signage (Frutiger). However, Ulrich Stiehl asserts that many of these differences were introduced in later versions of Segoe UI – earlier versions of Segoe UI were closer to Frutiger.[4][5]

On June 7, 2005, Scala, an electronic signage company (unrelated to the typeface FF Scala), announced[6] that Segoe was being removed from its InfoChannel product "due to licensing issues". Scala replaced Segoe with Bitstream Vera fonts.

In November 2005, Simon Daniels, a program manager in Microsoft's typography group, stated that "The original Segoe fonts were not created for or by Microsoft. It was an existing Monotype design which we licensed and extensively extended and customized to meet the requirements of different processes, apps and devices."[7]

In April 2006, a Microsoft public relations spokesperson, who asked not to be named, stated:

Segoe was an original design developed by Agfa Monotype (now Monotype Imaging) in 2000. In 2003, we acquired the original Segoe fonts and used them to develop an extended family of fonts retaining the Segoe name. Many of these new fonts received design patent protection in the United States. Segoe was not derived from Frutiger. Microsoft also has a current up-to-date license that allows us to distribute certain Frutiger fonts in connection with Microsoft products, including Office and Windows. There are distinct differences between Segoe and Frutiger. Additionally, unlike clone typefaces, the Segoe family of fonts are not metrically compatible with Frutiger so cannot be used as replacements.[8]

Under United States copyright law, the abstract letter shapes of functional text fonts cannot be copyrighted; only the computer programming code in a font is given copyright protection. This makes the production and distribution of clone fonts possible.

An early version of Segoe, possibly an evaluation version, was included with certain versions of SuSE Linux, but no longer ships as part of that operating system.

Segoe UI

Segoe UI
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationHumanist
Designer(s)Steve Matteson
FoundryMicrosoft Typography
Date released2004
Segoe UI sample text
Sample

Segoe UI ("User Interface") is a member of the Segoe family used in Microsoft products for user interface text, as well as for some online user assistance material, intended to improve the consistency in how users see all text across all languages. It is distinguishable from its predecessor Tahoma and the OS X user interface font Lucida Grande by its rounder letters. Segoe UI was produced by Monotype Imaging.[9]

Light and Semibold versions of Segoe UI were introduced with Windows 7.[10]

The notable differences between the old (top) and the newer (bottom) revisions of Segoe UI
The notable differences between the old (top) and the newer (bottom) revisions of Segoe UI

In Windows 8, 8.1, 10 and 11, Segoe UI has undergone a number of changes and stylistic additions:[11][12][13][14]

In Windows 8.1, Segoe UI gained Black and Black Italic weights, but only for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts.[15]

Windows 11 introduced Segoe UI Variable which has display, text, and small faces designed for specific font sizes. The glyphs have been redrawn moving away from the humanist design in favour of a more geometric look.[16]

Characteristics

Segoe UI is optimized for Vista's default ClearType rendering environment, and it is significantly less legible when ClearType is disabled, except at key user interface sizes (8, 9 and 10 point) where Segoe UI has been hinted for bi-level rendering. The standard font size increased to 9 point in Windows Vista to accommodate for better layout and readability for all languages.

The Windows Vista version of Segoe UI (version 5.00) contains complete Unicode 4.1 coverage for Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and Arabic (Romans only), totaling 2843 glyphs in the regular weight.

Segoe UI uses distinct cursive italic script, whereas Frutiger and Helvetica use oblique type for italics.

Variations

Availability

Other Segoe fonts

Segoe Script
Segoe Script
The article on cats in English Wikipedia for sample of Segoe Script
The article on cats in English Wikipedia for sample of Segoe Script

Other members of the Segoe family include:

At one time, Microsoft also posted a package called Print Ad for Microsoft Dynamics Business Management Solutions Brief Description to the Microsoft downloads center. The package included TrueType and PostScript Type 1 beta versions of the Segoe branding fonts along with PowerPoint templates and marketing material.[28]

Windows Phones also include a more customized version called Segoe WP N which is designed with more clarity and narrow to enhance their take on ClearType.

Related fonts

Selawik
sample text
CategorySans-serif
Designer(s)Aaron Bell[29]
FoundryMicrosoft Typography
Date released2015

Microsoft released Selawik as a metric-compatible[a] Segoe UI replacement, and Symbols as a Segoe UI Symbols and Segoe MDL2 Assets fall-back, under SIL OFL in 2015. These fonts are used in WinJS and Winstrap.[30] Selawik is also one of Microsoft's recommended fonts for Universal Windows Platform apps.[31]

The same text using Segoe UI and Leelawadee
The same text using Segoe UI and Leelawadee

The Latin glyphs from Segoe and Segoe UI can also be found in the following Microsoft font families: Malgun Gothic (Korean), Microsoft JhengHei (Traditional Chinese), Microsoft YaHei (Simplified Chinese), Gisha (Hebrew), Leelawadee (Thai). In Windows 7, they are also found in Ebrima (N'Ko, Tifinagh, Vai), Khmer UI (Khmer), Lao UI (Lao), Microsoft New Tai Lue (Tai Lue), Microsoft PhagsPa (Phags-pa), Microsoft Tai Le (Tai Le).

In these fonts, some of the glyph shapes diverge significantly from Segoe UI and the Frutiger / Myriad model and are in some ways more calligraphic. In Gisha and Leelawadee, the capital ‘M’ is narrower, and has a raised apex, the lowercase ‘i’ and ‘l’ have tails, and the capital ‘I’ has no serifs. These characteristics are also seen in Segoe UI italic.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ kerning does not match as of Oct 2016

References

  1. ^ "Microsoft Debuts New Logo Before Windows 8" by Dina Bass Archived August 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Businessweek August 23, 2012
  2. ^ Designs Department – Invalidity Division (February 6, 2006). "Decision of the Invalidity Division (pdf)" (PDF). Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2006.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Monotype Imaging: Monotype Imaging Acquires Linotype". Monotype Imaging. August 2, 2006. Archived from the original on November 15, 2006. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  4. ^ Designer Says Vista Font is Original Archived March 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (Brian Livingston, April 25, 2006)
  5. ^ Segoe UI 1997–2003 vs. Segoe UI 2005 (Comparison on page 3)
  6. ^ "Scala and TechMedia are pleased to announce InfoChannel 3 Release 7.4". Techmedia.com.au. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Simon Daniels (November 11, 2005). "I Guess No One Cares About Fonts". An Office User Interface Blog. MSDN Bogs.
  8. ^ Brian Livingston (April 18, 2006). "Is Microsoft's Vista Font Just a Copy?". Datamation. earthweb.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2006.
  9. ^ "Monotype Imaging Brings Fonts to Microsoft Office and Windows Vista Products". Ir.monotypeimaging.com. March 20, 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  10. ^ "New Fonts in Windows 7 Beta". Microsoft.com. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  11. ^ "Previewing the New Version of Segoe UI". October 7, 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Segoe UI gets a subtle facelift in Windows 8". March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  13. ^ "More on Segoe UI in Windows 8". February 17, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  14. ^ "Aktualisierte Windows 8-Systemschrift auch in Vista und 7 nutzen". schieb.de. March 26, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Script and Font Support in Windows". msdn.microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  16. ^ "Typography in Windows 11". Microsoft. June 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "Windows 8 build 8014". BetaWiki. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  18. ^ "21 new typefaces in Windows 7". News.office-watch.com. May 8, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  19. ^ "An update for the Segoe UI symbol font in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available (KB2729094)". Windows Knowledge Base. Microsoft. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  20. ^ Long Zheng (November 14, 2007). ""Zegoe", the new Zune font". istartedsomething.com. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  21. ^ "Script and Font Support in Windows". msdn.microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  22. ^ How to enter and use Emoji on Windows 8.1 hanselman.com
  23. ^ Herrmann, Ralf (July 3, 2013). "Color Emoji in Windows 8.1—The Future of Color Fonts?". Archived from the original on July 10, 2014.
  24. ^ "How to type emoji on your PC using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update". PCWorld. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "Windows 11 features already in preview: Everything you can try right now". XDA Developers. June 18, 2021. Archived from the original on June 21, 2021. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "Monotype Imaging OEM Font catalog – Segoe Print". Monotype Imaging. Archived from the original on April 30, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  27. ^ Warren, Tom (March 4, 2021). "Microsoft's Windows 10 UI overhaul continues with new system icons". The Verge. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  28. ^ "Download the full Segoe font collection, official Microsoft branding typeface". IStartedSomething.com. May 31, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
  29. ^ "New font: Selawik Variations by Microsoft". Axis-Praxis. December 8, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  30. ^ "Microsoft open source fonts". GitHub. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  31. ^ "Fonts for UWP apps". MSDN. Retrieved October 20, 2016.