Updated: Apr 6, 2018
Video streaming giant, Netflix has created its own custom font type, Netflix Sans. Netflix will replace the previously used Gotham typeface with its new Netflix Sans for all its branding materials and marketing campaigns worldwide.
But why? Netflix designed its own typeface for two reasons. To give Netflix its own unique brand identity and to save on licensing fees.
Gotham is a family of widely used sans-serif typeface designed by American type designer, Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000. The Gotham design was inspired by a form of architectural signage popular in New York in the mid-twentieth century.
Using Gotham fonts, Netflix's branding materials will be similar to any other company willing to pay a licensing fee for the use of the font. By designing a custom font type, Netflix will be able to achieve a consistent brand identity.
Using the Gotham font type in all Netflix's international marketing campaigns can get expensive. With the new Netflix Sans typeface, the company is expected to save millions of dollars a year on licensing fees.
"With the global nature of Netflix's business, font licensing can get quite expensive... Developing this typeface saves the company millions of dollars a year." - Noah Nathan, Netflix Brand Design Lead
It is not the first time a tech company has designed their own font type. Apple, Samsung and Google have all designed their own font types for branding and cost savings reasons.
Let's look at how Netflix Sans compares with other custom typefaces.
"The clean and neutral lines give without taking, favoring art over distraction, and eliminating excess. The arched cut on the lowercase “t” is discreetly inspired by the cinemascopic curve that is so iconic to the brand’s wordmark and symbol." - Noah Nathan, Netflix Brand Design Lead
What's Next for Netflix?
With Netflix marketing budget expected to exceed $2 billion in 2018, up from $1.8 billion in 2017, the company needs to maximize its marketing dollar to bring in new subscribers.
Will the new Netflix Sans help make Netflix profitable in the near future? Unlikely, but the company is moving in the right direct with original content like Seven Seconds, Stranger Things and the Crown while maximizing its global marketing budget.
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