• Transform magazine
  • September 23, 2017

Top

The type writer: Fonts are brand assets

DaltonMaag--NokiaPure-2011.gif

Make fonts your asset, Bruno Maag suggests to brands. Their inherent value can help a company communicate more effectively

Irrespective of the media in which a brand operates, typography is always a key part of the communication strategy and means. Brands cannot thrive without fonts; they are a pillar of their visual identities and just as important as their logos, colours and imagery.

Many brands have selected, or even commissioned, fonts to represent them in their
communication, but coherent implementation of fonts across all channels can be a challenge. If a brand’s requirements have not been properly established before nal selection, rollout will be at risk. From minor technical problems to compatibility issues, unsupported languages and, at worst, additional unexpected licensing or development costs, many problems may arise if one’s font of choice turns out to be no longer suitable.

Font requirements are not only technical, such as suitability for use on-screen or language coverage, but also include the logistics of deploying, distributing, serving, embedding and updating the font les. It is vital that you check all of your requirements against the licence or contract terms of all candidate fonts before entering into an agreement. Clients are often surprised to nd that the font they picked cannot be used on the web, embedded into templates or used by their suppliers in commissioned work.

Design and branding agencies have a responsibility to their clients to ensure that the fonts they select on their behalf meet the brand’s requirements beyond the aesthetic aspect and clients have a responsibility to their agencies to clearly communicate their needs in the long term. To avoid later disappointment, all stakeholders will need to be involved in order to establish the diversity of their department’s requirements.

It is always advantageous to include the relevant font foundry or distributor in your discussions before a decision or commitment is made; they can advise you and assess how well your font of choice will perform against your requirements so that you can ensure a coherent and consistent expression for your brand.

Bruno Maag, chairman, Dalton Maag