Calibri v Times New Roman
The Supreme Court has switched to using the font Calibri in its judgments sparking a “legal font war” among lawyers on Twitter.
Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg spotted the top court’s switch in typeface earlier this week, suggesting the move is an attempt to “improve readability/accessibility”.
— Joshua Rozenberg (@JoshuaRozenberg) December 20, 2021
The Supreme Court used Times New Roman in the decided cases published on its website until early October when it switched to Calibri.
Naturally, lawyers were quick to offer their views on this major legal development.
Family law barrister Alexander Chandler of 1KBW tweeted:
“Major development in the Legal Font Wars. Does this signal an end to the tyranny of Times New Roman? Is the future Sans Serif? I say yes.”
St Philips commercial barrister Iqbal Mohammed was also in favour of the new font, writing “about time!” and that it is “much easier to read”. He said that fonts such as Times New Roman and Garamond are preferred in legal documents because “they look ‘more serious'”, adding: “If you think your font will make your arguments appear serious, you’re wrong.”
Another Twitter user waded into the debate saying the font change was done “no doubt to improve legibility” but as a result, “the page looks uglier”, while one user joked: “Is there any way to judicially review this decision? And who has jurisdiction?”
Former lawyer James Wilson said: “From my perspective it certainly doesn’t improve readability. I can’t see the traditional law reports following suit anytime soon.”
Love it or loathe it the Calibri font has been the default font across Microsoft Office since 2007, when it replaced Times New Roman. Yet, in April this year, Microsoft announced that it planned to “evolve” and replace the font to one of five new options.
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