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This article is about a typeface. For the Go player, see Kensaku Segoe. For the urban planner/architect, see Ladislas Segoe.
The current logo of Microsoft, introduced in 2012, uses Segoe.
The official Microsoft Windows logo since 2012 also uses Segoe.
The Microsoft Office 2013 version logo is yet another use of Segoe.

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 utilized 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 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 based on the Segoe font, replacing the logo it had used for the previous 25 years.[1]

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.

Licensing controversy[edit]

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.[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 the company — Monotype — that had originally licensed Segoe to Microsoft.

The clearest differences between (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[4] asserts that many of these differences were introduced in later versions of Segoe UI — earlier versions of Segoe UI were closer to Frutiger.[5][6]

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 spokesman, 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.

Segoe UI[edit]

Segoe UI
SegoeUI SP.svg
Category Sans-serif
Designer(s) Steve Matteson
Foundry Microsoft Typography
Date released 2004
Segoe UI sample text

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.[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, 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. 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.

The updated Segoe UI from Windows 8 has also been officially backported to Windows 7.[16]

In Windows 8.1 Segoe UI gained Black and Black Italic weights, but only for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts.[17]


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.

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


  • Segoe UI Mono is a variation of Segoe UI with monospace characters. It supports Latin (including Eastern European, and Turkish), Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew and Thai characters, and symbols, geometric shapes and drawing elements. The family includes 2 fonts in 2 weights, without italics.
  • Segoe UI Symbol is a new font added in Windows 7 that includes new scripts/symbols such as Braille, Deseret, Ogham or Runic glyphs. It is not however a "symbol charset-encoded font" (like MS Symbol) but rather it is a Unicode-encoded font with symbols assigned to respective Unicode code points.[18] Segoe UI Symbol also has some other miscellaneous symbols such as chess pieces, playing card and dice symbols (these glyphs formed the basis of the Segoe Chess and Segoe News Symbols fonts[citation needed]), box-drawing characters, block elements, technical symbols, mathematical operators, arrows, control pictures, and OCR-optimized glyphs.[19] The font also includes the monospaced Segoe UI variant, and OCR characters as OpenType accessible stylistic sets.[citation needed] In Windows 8, Segoe UI Symbol was extended to support Glagolitic, Gothic, Old Italic and Orkhon scripts.[15] In Windows 8.1 it gained support for Meroitic Cursive.[17]
Segoe Print
Category Script
Designer(s) Carl Crossgrove, Brian Allen James Grieshaber and Karl Leuthold
  • 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.[20] The family includes 2 fonts in 2 weights, without italics. It supports WGL character sets.
Segoe Script
Nancy segoe script.svg
Category Script
Designer(s) Carl Crossgrove and Brian Allen
  • 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.
  • Segoe Chess is a symbol encoded chess font, designed by Steve Matteson and Jim Ford.
  • Segoe Media Center is a font family, similar from segoe 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 News Symbol is a font containing a set of dingbats popular with newspapers, including weather, astrology, playing card suits, dice, stars, pointing hands, pencils, check boxes, and other icons.[citation needed]
  • 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 ]
  • Zegoe UI is a Zune-specific variation on Segoe.[21]
  • In Windows 8.1 Microsoft added unofficial color support to fonts, first implemented in the Segoe UI Emoji font.[17][22][23]

Other font families[edit]

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.


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.

A semilight version of Segoe UI is installed into Windows 7 if the user installs Microsoft Office 2013.

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,[citation needed] an electronic signage company (unrelated to the typeface FF Scala). On June 7, 2005 Scala announced[24] 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.[25]

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.


  1. ^ "Microsoft Debuts New Logo Before Windows 8" by Dina Bass, 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. Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Monotype Imaging: Monotype Imaging Acquires Linotype". Monotype Imaging. August 2, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  4. ^ Ulrich Stiehl is an outspoken critic of font plagiarism, who also attacks Linotype and Adobe on his site
  5. ^ Designer Says Vista Font is Original (Brian Livingston, 25 April 2006)
  6. ^ Segoe UI 1997–2003 vs. Segoe UI 2005 (Comparison on page 3)
  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. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Monotype Imaging Brings Fonts to Microsoft Office and Windows Vista Products". 2007-03-20. 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. 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" (in German). 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  15. ^ a b "Script and Font Support in Windows: Windows 8". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "An update for the Segoe UI symbol font in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available (KB2729094)". Windows Knowledge Base. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c "Script and Font Support in Windows: Windows 8.1 Preview". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Script and Font Support in Windows: Windows 7". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  19. ^ "21 new typefaces in Windows 7". 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  20. ^ "Monotype Imaging OEM Font catalog – Segoe Print". Monotype Imaging. Retrieved 2012-10-16. [dead link]
  21. ^ Long Zheng (14 November 2007). ""Zegoe", the new Zune font.". Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Scala and TechMedia are pleased to announce InfoChannel 3 Release 7.4". Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  25. ^ "Download the full Segoe font collection, official Microsoft branding typeface". 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 

External links[edit]