The topic of Font Licensing has popped its little head into the global conversation once again this week with CNN presenting its very own new font: CNN Sans. The resounding immediate commentary on the font family is that it's pretty much Helvetica, which is hard to refute. But CNN is pumping the e-airwaves with videos and chatter about how its the new original face of CNN.
What's interesting about the conversation this time is that it's not just about the fact that you should license fonts, but it extends the focus to the pros and cons of buying a large corporate licenses versus having your own custom typeface designed.
It's a bummer that a lot of these conversations tend to end with clients deciding that getting a slightly modified version of something well known like Helvetica instead of getting something truly original commissioned is the right way to go, but I can see where they're coming from in several respects.
Monocle 24 recently took a swing at the conversation in their radio Monocle Daily program, highlighting reasons for and against CNN's new font family (i.e. is 36 weights really necessary?) and a little perspective from the font industry itself in the form of a Bruno Maag shout-out. Personally, I'm just excited to see people talking about this matter of buying or commissioning fonts at all.