How to Calculate Your Business Typography Investment ROI?

September 19, 2019
5 min read

While talking with some of our customers, I’ve realised a common font management problem is the lack of insight into a company’s typography costs, especially for larger organisations. Although an individual freelancer, working on a few dozen accounts each month, might have a good understanding of their investment made in terms of typography licenses, larger organisations seem to simply accept the cost and often will have no idea of the return on investment with that purchase.

It is easy to lose track of costs when working with thousands of fonts and multiple users. Font licensing just becomes an acquired cost and often reporting on font usage is nonexistent or the technology simply isn’t there.

Several font management solutions have started to include reporting features as a way to offer IT managers greater insight into their organisation’s font purchases. This has really helped organisations, not only in staying compliant and removing confusion, but also tracking down inefficiencies, such as continuous purchases of duplicate fonts or even removing superfluous fonts resulting in a clear understanding of an organisation’s typography investments.

Extensis' server font management solution, Universal Type Server, offers robust font usage reporting. Our solutions enable font managers the ability to parse mountains of font usage data through handy graphical reports. Data can be easily exported to Excel or CSV tables for manipulation, data merges, or other analysis.

Universal Type Server is available in 2 different editions: Professional and Enterprise. Depending on the organisation’s specific needs each edition will offer different features and reporting options. The table below offers a breakdown of each edition’s reporting features:

Report on: Professional Enterprise
Users: All server accounts and associated details. An excellent top-level audit of all Universal Type Server users. check check
Fonts: List of fonts stored by your server, including foundry, type and other metadata. This is a great report to assess the maturity and modern nature of your team’s collection. check check
Users by workgroup: Display the users that have access to each workgroup. A great place to set assess how many user licenses are required when fonts are purchased for specific workgroups. check check
Fonts by workgroup: See the fonts that are included in each workgroup. This can be informative to understand your team’s creative needs and exposure to these important creative tools. check check
Client Connections: View which users are currently connected to the server, and consuming Universal Type Client licenses. check check
User Settings: Examine the font replication, server synchronisation, System Font Policy and other settings of users. Audit your team’s font access settings to quickly identify server configuration issues. check check
Out of Compliance: Audits font usage across your entire font server to identify fonts where usage has exceeded license numbers. The perfect tool to run periodically to identify potential under-licensing issues that could cause legal entanglements. This report is essential for the implementation of many compliance-based workflows.   check
Duplicate Fonts: Identifies potential duplicate fonts on your system and serves as a starting point for server clean-up projects.   check
Fonts by License: Displays fonts by license and allows the easy assessment of licenses tracked by the server. A good way to identify how licenses cover fonts in your collection.   check
Font Usage: Provides an at-a-glance view of all of the fonts in your collection, the number licensed, number currently in use, and compliance state of every font in your collection – critical for software compliance and correct font usage control efforts.   check


Effective font management can offer organisations real insight into their font investments, but it’s not all about cost savings. Effective font management reporting also allows managers higher control over their environment, removing user confusion and ultimately ensuring that all assets are used to their full potential.

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ChrisStevens2

Chris Stevens – Technical Account Manager - International

Chris works closely with internal teams and with customers to help ensure the best technical experience for evaluation and implementation of our solutions, imparting knowledge that future-proofs the investment made.  Starting out as an English teacher in Japan, Chris returned to the UK, moving into the IT world, but with particular focus on how solutions apply to businesses.  Including areas such as product development, project management, sales, support and training, he is always looking to expand knowledge of both customers and of himself!  With 16 years at Extensis under his belt, he spends his spare time doing things that focus the mind and get you thinking, be it documentaries, films, or even games.  To balance that he watches his hometown football team which fills his head with nonsense!  He also enjoys tech/gadgets, the outdoors, and seeing and learning about new places.

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