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, 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]

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 since Office 2013.

The Segoe name is a registered trademark of 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.

Licensing controversyEdit

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 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.[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

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 UIEdit

Segoe UI
Designer(s)Steve Matteson
FoundryMicrosoft Typography
Date released2004

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 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

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

  • A Semilight version was introduced in order to make a perfect lightweight down to 11 pixels.
  • True italic variants were introduced for the Light, Semilight, and Semibold weights.
  • The Light and Semibold versions have been tuned for better quality for screen reading.
  • Typography design changes were made that closely resemble the Segoe WP font family with similarities to Linotype Frutiger. Notable changes have been made from Windows Vista and Windows 7, such as to the letters “I” and “Q”, and the digits 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8.
  • Additional scripts and character sets are supported, such as Arabic, Armenian, Georgian (Mkhedruli and Khutsuri), Hebrew, and Fraser alphabet (Lisu).[15]
  • OpenType variants were included.

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


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 has a true cursive italic, unlike the oblique used in Frutiger and Helvetica.



Other Segoe fontsEdit

Segoe Script
The article of cat in English Wikipedia for sample of Segoe Script

Other members of the Segoe family include:

  • Segoe Print is a font family based on the handwriting of Monotype Imaging employee Brian Allen, developed by Carl Crossgrove, James Grieshaber and Karl Leuthold.[23] The family includes 2 fonts in 2 weights, without italics. It supports WGL character sets. It is included with Windows Vista and later.
  • Segoe Script is a font family designed by Carl Crossgrove-based from the handwriting of Brian Allen, but includes extended strokes found in cursive handwriting. It is produced by Monotype Imaging. By using stylistic alternate OpenType feature, the unlinked letters become accessible. The family includes 2 fonts in 2 weights, without italics. It supports WGL character sets. It is included with Windows Vista and later.
  • Segoe Chess is a symbol encoded chess font, designed by Steve Matteson and Jim Ford. Segoe Chess 1.00 is included with Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.
  • Segoe Media Center is a font family built for and privately installed with Windows Media Center in 2 weights: light and semibold. It resembles the original Segoe, but is not optimized for ClearType rendering.
  • Segoe TV is a font family built into MSN TV set-top-boxes. It retains characteristics of the original Segoe, such as sans-serif capital I and straight tail in capital Q, whereas other characters have been redrawn such as the i and j.
  • Segoe WP is the Windows Phone 7 specific version of Segoe. The Segoe WP family is distributed with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Currently, only release candidate beta version is available (March 2010).[citation needed][dubious ]

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.[24]

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

  • "Segoe Pro" is a custom font used by Microsoft and its affiliates for branding. Segoe Pro contains the same glyphs that Segoe UI does, only that it has specific emojis of Microsoft products attached as well. Segoe Pro comes in Black, Bold, Condensed, Display, Semibold and Semilight, along with their italic versions of each.
  • "Segoe Slab" is a custom font which can be found if the user extract the Windows SDK.apk (Android app package).[clarification needed] The font file is named 'SegoeSlabWP-Semilight.ttf'.
  • "Segoe Xbox Symbol" is a font developed specifically for the Xbox 360. It comes in 2 weights: Regular and Bold. These fonts can be extracted from the Xbox Android app. Other versions of this font include 'Segoe X Symbol' and 'Segoe Xbox MDL2 Assets'.
  • "Skype UI Symbol" is a font, similar to Segoe Xbox Symbol, however comprises the Latin script from Segoe UI. It comes in 2 weights, Regular and Bold. It can be extracted from the Skype app for Android.

Related fontsEdit

Designer(s)Aaron Bell[25]
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 fallback, under SIL OFL in 2015. These fonts are used in WinJS and Winstrap.[26] Selawik is also one of Microsoft's recommended fonts for Universal Windows Platform apps.[27]

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.


  1. ^ kerning doesn't match as of Oct 2016


  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 (6 February 2006). "Decision of the Invalidity Division (pdf)" (PDF). Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-31.
  3. ^ "Monotype Imaging: Monotype Imaging Acquires Linotype". Monotype Imaging. August 2, 2006. Archived from the original on November 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-27.
  4. ^ Designer Says Vista Font is Original Archived March 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (Brian Livingston, 25 April 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". Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  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. Archived from the original on July 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
  9. ^ "Monotype Imaging Brings Fonts to Microsoft Office and Windows Vista Products". 2007-03-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  10. ^ "New Fonts in Windows 7 Beta". Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  11. ^ "Previewing the New Version of Segoe UI". 2011-10-07. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  12. ^ "Segoe UI gets a subtle facelift in Windows 8". 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  13. ^ "More on Segoe UI in Windows 8". 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  14. ^ "Aktualisierte Windows 8-Systemschrift auch in Vista und 7 nutzen". 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Script and Font Support in Windows". Microsoft. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  16. ^ "21 new typefaces in Windows 7". 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  17. ^ "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 29 October 2014.
  18. ^ Long Zheng (14 November 2007). ""Zegoe", the new Zune font". Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Script and Font Support in Windows". Microsoft. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  20. ^ How to enter and use Emoji on Windows 8.1
  21. ^ "Typography.Guru - Learn to master Typography". Typography.Guru. Archived from the original on 2014-07-10.
  22. ^ "How to type emoji on your PC using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update". PCWorld. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  23. ^ "Monotype Imaging OEM Font catalog – Segoe Print". Monotype Imaging. Archived from the original on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  24. ^ "Download the full Segoe font collection, official Microsoft branding typeface". 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  25. ^ "New font: Selawik Variations by Microsoft". Axis-Praxis. 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  26. ^ "Microsoft open source fonts". GitHub. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Fonts for UWP apps". MSDN. Retrieved 20 October 2016.

External linksEdit