On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued an order banning the use of Times New Roman font in all State Department communications.
Why is Times New Roman, which was created in 1932, suddenly so problematic? If you guessed it was because the Biden administration determined the font was racist, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. Given recent developments, it seemed inevitable that someone would declare that all serif fonts are tools of white supremacy.
TimesBut, believe it or not, for once, the decision actually had to do with something entirely different.
The State Department is ditching Times New Roman out of a desire to be more “inclusive” to “employees who are visually impaired or have other difficulties reading,” according to the Washington Post. The paper received a copy of the department-wide memo, which was cringingly titled “The Times (New Roman) are a-Changin.”
The State Department’s domestic and overseas offices have until Feb. 6 to transition from Times New Roman to the sans serif font, Calibri — which is now the new standard font for the department’s communications.
“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,” explains the Washington Post. “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.”