Pen is mightier than the sword? Forget it. These words written in 1839 by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in historical play Cardinal Richelieu may have found a new meaning in the digital age of 2017. What about a font is mightier than sword? Ask Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam and they will answer in the affirmative.
Pakistan is staring at the fall of Nawaz Sharif government due to a popular font – Calibri. It has been found that Maryam misled the Pakistan Supreme Court with fake documents in the ongoing Panamagate corruption case against her family. Maryam sent to the SC-appointed Joint Investigative Team (JIT) documents dated before January 31, 2007 and typed in Calibri font. But Calibri was not commercially available before 31st January 2007.
Calibri has an interesting history of being on the top. Yes, literally. Microsoft describes Calibri as a “modern sans serif family with subtle roundings on stems and corners. It features real italics, small caps, and multiple numeral sets. Its proportions allow high impact in tightly set lines of big and small text alike. Calibri’s many curves and the new rasteriser team up in bigger sizes to reveal a warm and soft character.”
The “warm and soft” Calibri was designed by Lucas De Groot in 2004 reached people on January 30, 2007 with the launch of Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista. The Calibri started its journey by replacing Times New Roman as the default typeface in Word and also replaced Arial as the default in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and WordPad.
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Calibri made on-screen reading more enjoyable and continued so in all versions of Microsoft Office since 2007 until 2016. It may just now leave Pakistan sans Sharif.
UPDATE: Pakistan Supreme Court is set to deliver the verdict in Panama Papers case against PM Sharif today. It is expected that the verdict would force Sharif to resign.
(This article was first published on July 14, 2017. )