Font management and distribution
What is font management?
Font management is the term given to how enterprises distribute and manage the fonts that employees are using. It is enabled through technology, such as distribution management software and font management software.
Font management is important because fonts are a vital part of a brand’s visual identity, as are the typeface families to which fonts belong. Font collections are an essential typography element that embodies an organization, what it represents, and how it intends to frame all its communication. Every established brand has a recognizable font associated with it, and the power of this font is such that a brand is recognizable from just a few letters.
Fonts are important for:
- Describing the brand personality.
- Reaching people.
- Creating a memorable impression.
- Occurring across every touchpoint of a brand.
Font contributes to the brand identity
Font is a primary way in which a brand is recognized. In a branded world, fonts allow consumers to form associations of a brand from their very first interaction. Although there are different touchpoints for a brand, the font is consistent across almost all of them, from logos to business documents.
Fonts are chosen or designed in association with what the brand wishes to communicate. The visual story of a brand is often highly dependent on the typeface chosen and the fonts which are used for different types of communication. For example, a font can convey how a brand is powerful, modern, or creative, and the use of different types can be directed to purpose by using serif for a formal letter, and sans serif for a more informal communication, such as on a flyer.
As a result of digital transformation, consumers are increasingly accessing content digitally – through websites, apps, and online tools. This offers both benefits and difficulties: organizations now need to consider how their font moves in space, and how this is represented digitally.
Requirements for enterprise fonts
Although fonts are a powerful brand tool, they can prove problematic. It is difficult for large global organizations to find, or create, a font that is ideal for a wide range of communications across different branches. A company must choose a font with full functionality, making it appropriate for a promotional advertisement and a formal letter.
Additionally, in many cases, an organization's font sets need to work online and for print, which adds complexity to the choice of new fonts. If an organization chooses to have a customized or bespoke font created for them rather than buying a license, this needs to support all the different possibilities for language and symbol use. For an international company, this requires a large amount of multitype symbols to cover all branches of the organization operating in different languages and countries.
Choosing and distributing fonts
Download our guide to learn how to use and manage fonts to empower your brand communication.
Who uses font management software & why is it important?
The good news is that graphic designers, marketing teams, and content creators typically have a wide selection of installed fonts within the font library on their Macs, PCs, word processing software, and graphic design software (i.e., Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, etc.).
The potentially bad news is that an organization can run into brand recognition issues if employees are not using (or are unable to use) the right font.
Generally, depending on your operating system (i.e., macOS, Windows, Linux, etc.), the best font management apps include Fontbase, Extensis, FontAgent, Glyphs, NexusFont, OpenType, FontExplorer, Windows Font Manager, Google Fonts, Suitcase Fusion, Font Book, and similar font management tools.
Both Apple and Microsoft incorporate free font manager software like TrueType (a collection of font files). However, in many cases, it’s not enough. That’s especially true if they are not using typical system fonts or have a customized font list.
Difficulties of managing and distributing fonts
Once a company has bought or designed its selected font, the next challenge is ensuring the font is used. For bespoke fonts to be used, they must be installed on the device of every employee in an organization. Font distribution is a task that requires a huge amount of time, resources and workflow planning, particularly from IT teams. The larger the organization, the more difficult the task – deploying a font to tens of employees is much easier than to thousands of employees.
Unfortunately, font packages don't auto-activate or deactivate. With that in mind, there is also little control over ensuring that employees download and share fonts which are sent over an email or linked from an intranet. As a result, many employees do not use the correct font templates, and the cost of obtaining the font is wasted. Even when employees download the chosen brand font, this does not guarantee they will activate fonts when required. It is also challenging to install updates, such as adding a new type of font to the family, once the font has been downloaded. As a result, fonts that contain huge branding potential are underused in enterprises due to technical difficulties.
Font distribution software solves font deployment difficulties
The best font manager tools are a way of removing these difficulties, and ensuring that customized fonts are used across the organization.
Templafy’s Font Distributor puts control of font distribution in a central location, without needing IT team involvement. As custom typefaces may not be available on or compatible with everyone’s machine by default, these are uploaded in an add-in package that distributes the fonts through Templafy desktop. Through this deployment, the fonts are available in Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. The easy set-up makes fonts easy to distribute and control, even if changes are made to the font package. Distribution to every member of an organization is simple, even where employees work in a variety of languages and locations. The Font Distributor ensures every aspect of employee communication contains the correct font and harnesses the font’s brand power.
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Take a look at our blog for more information about corporate branding and brand compliance.