Service Custom licensing and consulting Partners Carter & Cone in collaboration with Team Detroit/GTB Date 2012

Tailoring a license for a global brand

Art direction: Dana Satterwhite and Einar Örn Sigurdórsson, Agency: Blvd Content, Car photography: Marcus Philipp Sauer, Production: LTwo productions

Team Detroit (rebranded as GTB in 2016), Ford Motor Company’s design agency, selected Miller Banner for Lincoln’s brand typeface. Tracking usage and recurring or additional license fees were impractical for a global company with a vast array of potential brand applications and users spread around the world, so Ford needed a simple solution. Here an enterprise license was the answer. This kind of license covers any and all uses in perpetuity for a one-time license fee; although the initial investment in such a license is higher than limited or shorter term licenses, it may be a more economical option in the long run for large companies because it offers simplicity and freedom—even as usage grows and expands, there are no additional license fees and no need to track usage. To ensure ultimate design flexibility, the entire Miller Banner family was included in the license.

Then a part of the Font Bureau library, Miller Banner is the largest optical size of Miller, Matthew Carter’s interpretation of the Scotch Roman, a class of sturdy, general-purpose type widely used in the US in the nineteenth century. Carter’s design remains faithful to the Scotch style, though it doesn’t follow any single historical example. Back when fonts were produced in metal, the largest optical sizes, with their refined letterforms and breathtakingly thin hairlines and serifs, were regarded as the zenith of typographic elegance and technical proficiency in lettercutting and printing. For Team Detroit, these characteristics perfectly embodied the qualities of the Lincoln brand. Lincoln has used it ever since and the typeface has been featured in many beautiful layouts.

Type Network can help individualize a license for your custom or retail fonts, ensuring the terms are flexible enough to meet your current and anticipated usage.

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