The person who engages in this activity designs the typefaces that we write with on the computer. Their task is to draw the letters with the highest possible quality, to include all characters as necessary (sometimes several hundred), to prevent confusion between characters, to verify that the spaces between characters are ideal, to ensure that the details are not lost in print or on the screen and to achieve digital fabrication which allows its use without any technical problems.
Actually, fonts are not the same: they have faint but crucial differences. Some function well in books, but not so well in newspapers. Or in magazines, but not on the screen. Or on road signs, but nowhere else. Or that work for writing in English but not in Spanish or German or Mayan. Their significance is usually invisible to everyone, except to those who understand their power and take advantage of it to express moods or suggest the communicator’s values to the target audience.
Some fonts come included upon purchasing a computer, but few of them work for the most demanding jobs. Others can be freely downloaded from the internet, but their quality almost always leaves something to be desired. They’re worth what they cost: nothing. Upon paying for a font, one pays for the work invested in it. It is also relatively easy to obtain professional fonts illegally. A digital font is a computer program, and as such is protected by law. Fonts exist because someone invested a lot of time creating a quality product, and just like any other creator, has the right to receive adequate compensation for the use of his work. It’s true that the middleman gets a cut, but the author will always appreciate the fair share of royalties.
It’s like clothing: there are some which are very cheap and there are others which cost several hundred dollars. The major factors are how complete the font is, how much time it took to design it, and what problems it resolves. Typically, commercial fonts are affordable for the majority of designers or clients, especially when you think about using it in an application which will generate profits.
Special projects deserve special fonts. Like the clothing in a store, commercial fonts were designed considering to be adjusted for many people, but not everything can be done with Times or Arial as their authors never thought of the needs that you must cover. In those cases, it is highly recommended to consider the services of a tailor who can design a custom font.
The cost depends on the complexity and expectations of the project. How many characters? For long texts or for headlines? Do you need italics, bold type, or small caps? Do you want it just for you or will you allow it to be commercialized by the designer after a reasonable amount of time? Is it a new project or a font that has already been started but you don’t know how to finish and really make it work? If you write to us we can plan the best solution together at the right price.