Client resistance to boutique typefaces?

3 years ago from , Graphic Designer

I experience this constantly, clients expressing their concern for the cost of a unique (ie. not open-source) typeface for their brand and the licensing costs associated with it. Almost always its seen as an expense they'd prefer to avoid and I'm left trying to explain why paying a rather hefty sum for a typeface license is worth the added cost.

Curious if anyone could share their thoughts about communicating the benefits of using typefaces from higher-end foundries to their clients vs. an open-source alternative?

Do you have a strategy to determine if the client is even going to be receptive of using a paid typeface before you even go down that road? Maybe you have a good line you like to use that helps them see why you want to use this one amazing font and not just "pick something from google"?


  • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, 3 years ago

    My experience with clients is that they don't like the uncertainty of future costs. Meaning, they don't mind paying $200 for a desktop/web licence, but don't want to have to pay more down the road for extra seats, app / ebook / pageviews.

    But it ultimately comes down to the kind of client. The kind that seas design as having real business value will see a typeface as a good investment. The kind that doesn't will want the cheapest. I'm not sure you can educate the latter enough to change their view fundamentally.

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  • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, 3 years ago

    Why not build the cost of typefaces into your contract price? If you're being consulted to make expert judgments for the designed outcome, I'd say use what you think is most appropriate for the brand and include a buffer for the cost of the font(s).

    Only tricky part is whether or not the typeface is subject to a yearly license fee like Typography.com has for use on the web.

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