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Segoe (// SEE-goh) is a Humanist typeface family that is best known for its use by Microsoft. The company uses Segoe in their online and printed marketing materials, including recent logos for a number of products. Additionally, the Segoe UI family of fonts is utilized by numerous Microsoft applications, and may be installed by applications (such as Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Live Messenger 2009). It is the default font in Windows Vista and Windows 7. The font is also used for outlook.com, Microsoft's email service which replaced the earlier Hotmail. As of August 2012[update], Microsoft uses Segoe as part of their corporate logo.
The Segoe name is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation, although the typeface was originally developed by Monotype.
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.
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 properly prove that it had been selling Frutiger and Frutiger Next prior to 2004.
The EU rejected these claims, and in February 2006 the EU withdrew Microsoft's registration. Microsoft did not appeal the decision. Microsoft still holds US design patents to 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. 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 the company — Monotype — that had originally licensed Segoe to Microsoft.
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.
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."
In April 2006, a Microsoft public relations spokesman, who asked not to be named, stated:
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.
Segoe UI 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 Mac OS user interface font Lucida Grande by its rounder letters. Segoe UI was produced by Monotype Imaging.
Light and Semibold versions of Segoe UI were introduced with Windows 7.
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 pt. 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.
|Designer(s)||Carl Crossgrove, Brian Allen James Grieshaber and Karl Leuthold|
|Designer(s)||Carl Crossgrove and Brian Allen|
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.
The Segoe UI font family can be obtained as part of Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2010, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. Certain Segoe fonts, but not Segoe UI, were included in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, replacing Trebuchet MS.
Segoe UI is installed into Windows XP if the user installs Windows Live Messenger, or Windows Live Mail, which are available as free downloads. Microsoft Word Viewer and Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2007 install certain Segoe fonts, but not Segoe UI.
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. The first company to distribute Segoe, under license from Monotype, was Scala, a Canadian electronic signage company (unrelated to the typeface FF Scala). On June 7, 2005 Scala announced that Segoe was being removed from its InfoChannel product "due to licensing issues". Scala replaced Segoe with Bitstream Vera fonts.
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.
Segoe Print, Segoe Script are included with Windows Vista.
Segoe Chess 1.00 is included with Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.
Although Segoe Print, Segoe Script and Segoe UI can be installed on Mac OS (like all TrueType flavor OpenType fonts), Microsoft does not include them with Mac Office or any other Mac product.