Handling non-standard fonts in corporate identity

How do organizations successfully manage their corporate identity when their brand guidelines incorporate non-standard fonts? In particular, external-facing materials that are not developed by the marketing department.

Company XYZ decides to use Akzidenz-Grotesk as a key part of their visual identity. This is not a font that comes preinstalled with Windows. How do they manage collateral not produced by the marketing team? Examples include contracts, order forms, PowerPoint presentations.

Marketing can convert company logos to images, and drop them into Word or PowerPoint templates as a starting point, so that’s consistent. What about the core content (i.e. body text, bullet points) that’s developed by employees at a large?

I’ve identified two paths:

  1. Purchase a company license for the fonts. Have IT install it on every machine. Attempt to train employees on the use of appropriate fonts. Depending on the font, this could get pretty expensive. Getting non-technical employees to apply consistently will be difficult.
  2. Identify a fall-back font that comes preinstalled with the OS (e.g. Arial). Accept that bullet points in PowerPoint, text on forms, etc. are not going to match the logo, and thus not completely align with corporate identity.

I can see merits and drawbacks to each. Are there other options not occurring to me? Does anyone have experience with additional pros and cons of one versus the other? Thanks.


Ideally all collateral material is designed, formatted, and created by those that know design and would therefore have the brand fonts installed. Just because a piece is not “exciting” or visually important, such as a contract, it doesn’t mean a designer should avoid it. A well designed, branded contract carries a solid message with it.

Forms which employees may need to complete digitally can be done via PDF forms so general users have no control over appearance or layout.

Often interoffice items aren’t of any concern. It’s only the external collateral that should be properly branded.

If a company allows any assistant or intern to create collateral materials they aren’t that interested in maintaining overall branding. In those cases, a general substitution is commonly used – serf or sans serif.

Source : Link , Question Author : DenVog , Answer Author : Scott

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