In 2002, Microsoft invited Luc(as) de Groot to develop a typeface to their planned ClearType Font Collection. Eventually, he would design two: Consolas and Calibri. Consolas was the first of the produtcs Luc(as) worked on.
The glyphs across this family of four monospaced fonts all have the same width. Intended for use in programming environments and other circumstances requiring monospaced fonts, Consolas has proportions that are closer to normal text. This makes it more reader-friendly than many other monospaced fonts. OpenType features include hanging figures or lining figures; slashed, dotted and normal zeroes; and alternative shapes for a number of lowercase letters, notably the most problematic character in any monospaced font, the “i”. The look of the text can be tuned to personal taste by varying the number of bars and waves in these letters.
De Groot teamed up with a programmer to test the use of Consolas as a font for coding. “Having a programmer involved,” says Luc(as) with a smile, “I could preview hardcore use on the light-weight notebook chosen to represent his species’ preferred tool.” As the default monospaced font in Windows Vista as well as the Office Suite, Consolas became the de facto successor of the ubiquitous Courier.
Text adapted from the Microsoft brochure Now read this. The Microsoft ClearType Font Collection, edited by John D. Berry (2004).