Fontsmith. Brandfont®

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As part of a review of it’s licensing model, leading type design studio Fontsmith, has launched a new service, Brandfont®, and now offers webfonts and other formats for digital use direct from its new website.

Founder Jason Smith explains: “Over the last 15 years, Fontsmith has grown and developed along with our customers, moving with and listening to the needs of brands worldwide. Our customers have also evolved and we now have four kinds of client that buy our fonts: designers, small businesses, digital customers and large brands.”

“I kept seeing adverts for different pricing levels for broadband from Sky, BT, etc, and as a customer, I could quickly and clearly see which was the right service for me. Font licences though, were very complicated, with different foundries using different approaches. Prices were based on the number of users and I kept being asked what a user was – an employee? A freelancer? A computer? A supplier? It was all getting too confusing, so I took a big step back.”

“Whilst needing to balance the value of what we do, with the value generated by the use of our fonts, it gave me the idea of having four different licences for the four different customer types. This is the basis for the new Studio, SME, Digital, Brandfont® licence model.” The Studio licence is intended for design agencies.

The SME (small medium enterprise) licence gives small businesses the luxury of a relatively exclusive typeface, which can be used by all employees, on the website and by suppliers.

The Digital licence was a little more complicated to define as digital use changes all the time. Fontsmith is now offering webfonts and mobile app fonts, direct from, and have optimised all fonts for web browsers.

“As for Brandfont®, the majority of designers we work with, work in branding and want to use our fonts as the basis for something customisable and ownable. Because we have a reasonably extensive font library and are still a small company focused on creativity, we can do what we like with our typefaces to meet designers’ brand needs.”

“Having created fonts for some of the world’s most successful brands, including BBC, ITV, Jaguar, Sainsbury’s and Lloyds Bank, Fontsmith has become one of the world’s leading authorities on the design and technical requirements of fonts for brands.”

“Clients ask me the same questions – how can the font we choose for our brand be distinctive, practical and not cost the earth? How can it meet our clients’ needs: online, offline or in languages? Is there a simple way of doing this that can meet our deadlines and show financial benefits as well as creative?”

Hearing these questions and seeing the constant change in the channels, Smith realised that to really help his customers, a totally new approach was needed. Having been successfully trialed with a number of client brands, that new approach is Brandfont®.

“Brandfont® is aimed at agencies working for large brands and organisations, and is tailored specifically to offer solutions to any creative brief, ranging from simple corporate licensing and minor modifications, to full bespoke font creation and support. This is the type of work we are best known for and have been doing for years, and Brandfont® wraps all those customer requirements under one licence, making it simple for all of us.”

Whether the brand is large or small; just starting out or being re-positioned; is operating in one or 20 countries; Brandfont® provides answers to all the key questions and gives the practical support required to make every brand a success. It is a one-stop service, providing everything, from logistic ease, knowing the right fonts to use, the controlled distribution of type with other brand assets, competitive pricing and, of course, distinction. The key customer benefits of Brandfont® include:

• No annual subscriptions and no further fees to pay• Unlimited internal use licence• Free downloads and use for all suppliers worldwide • Brand font re-named to suit your brand• Exclusive global use rights of your modified or custom font• Unlimited use on website and self hosted web fonts• Multiple font formats as standard, for use across print, digital and web • Unlimited use across multiple digital devices and mobile apps • Screen optimised

Smith adds: “Our fonts are just that — ours. This gives us the flexibility to offer exclusive deals so customers can own, use and distribute as they wish, with unlimited licensing and usage. We deal with Brandfont® enquiries personally and have made the process refreshingly simple. There are no hidden extras and no restrictions. Once the project is agreed there will be no further investment required or fees incurred. It truly is a one-off fee. Simple.”

To launch the new licence model Fontsmith has also invested in a new website that offers test driving of fonts directly online, extensive support and a helpdesk, new information and backgrounds to designs and designers, a re-designed blog and lots and lots of knowledge sharing. Not to mention a fully adaptive responsive design, from super desktop to retina tablets to smart phones.

The launch of Brandfont® is aimed at reminding designers just how important great fonts are to successful brands. Smith added: “We have helped brands through this process so many times, I wanted to share our knowledge and make life easier for the agencies. This is a very personal service. We will look after you, help you through the process of commissioning a typeface and make sure you get exactly what you need. The message is simple – if you are building a brand, Brandfont® is here to help with all your type needs.”

All this and more can be seen over on Fontsmith’s lovely new website:


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