Yesterday I've had a conversation with the CFO of a major design agency in Brazil and he brought some thoughtful questions on why is it good business for many companies to have a custom typeface designed.
I have read many and thought of some myself and would love to hear from those with more extensive experience in selling this service.
Usually all arguments fall into brand value and/or money. But how to measure both?
Is the return over investment of a custom typeface measurable? Here's my thoughts:
If we compare the company's spending in perpetual (desktop/server) and renewable licenses (webfonts, hosting services, etc.) today and in the future (say a 10 year period), we'll probably have a high number that may be higher than the investment required for creating a custom font. Considering that most savvy companies wouldn't get a 400 people, multi-platform license out of a foundries website, that number may be far too exaggerated, so one should ponder that number a bit.
Can the type-as-brand-asset argument be measured in numbers?
Just like a logotype may have a certain money value attached to it (Coke, Nike, etc.), can typefaces have the same?
There's some PR attached to the design of a new font, some of it are bad PR, other wonderful. Is it something that could be accounted for in the ROI? I think this may well be disregarded because such an event only gets known/cared for by a niche audience.
Are there other aspects in the work that could be transformed (asset management, ease-of-use, peace of mind) into a cold hard number?
Thanks, and look forward to your answers!