Some thoughts on bespoke corporate typefaces
Typography is a crucial element of a corporate identity, so I believe that in some instances it makes sense to invest in custom typographic solutions. If executed successfully, a custom corporate typeface can give a unique visual edge, and address specific functional requirements.
Interengistly, according to Netflix and their brand design lead Noah Nathan, their latest bespoke type commission aims to save them money on licensing. Thier PR push is claiming it could save company millions, which might be a stretch (also depending on the time sample), but I think it is a reasonable investment because digital licensing is mostly impression-based. For a company with that many impression, instead of negotiating a fixed budget with the foundries, they can use that money, or even a part of it, to make something they own.
However, as the recent Coca-Cola typeface can testify, it can become a potential trap and twist into an industry failure of sorts. I think that can happen when design companies and type designers go overboard and use BS to sell their concepts. That’s a dangerous route to take because that could lead the public to start perceiving everything produced by the industry as such BS.
In turn, even the actual benefits and strengths of type and graphic design, in general, can start being viewed as something merely trivial.
In my opinion, sometimes the facts that it would look cool, slightly different and we have resources to do it, should be reasons enough.