Arun Venkatesan arun.is

Why are tech companies making custom typefaces?  ↦

The most obvious reason is cost. Developing a custom typeface can eliminate the recurring licensing fees that must be paid to foundries. IBM and Netflix claim to save millions of dollars per year by switching from Helvetica to IBM Plex and Gotham to Netflix Sans, respectively.

I hadn’t considered the on going costs of licensing as a factor, but it totally make sense. Although, that’s not where Arun ends this. He goes into the much finer details of the typefaces, the medium, how screen types have changed, and more.

Companies like Apple and Samsung, with their wide portfolio of digital and physical products and services, have united their brands and products under a singular typeface.

Apple went further and didn’t just work within the numerous constraints posed by both the digital and physical world. In creating San Francisco, it reinvented how type is rendered altogether.

I dig the question Arun ends with, “Should custom typefaces exist?”


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