Stranger Things, The Crown, and House of Cards might be the originals Netflix has become known for, but the streaming service is launching an all new, less expected original: Netflix Sans. Netflix Sans is not a binge-worthy show, it's an original typeface that will replace the Gotham font you're used to seeing.
According to It's Nice That, Netflix created the typeface for one logical reason: Licensing fonts isn't cheap. "With the global nature of Netflix’s business, font licensing can get quite expensive,” Noah Nathan, Netflix brand design lead, told the site. “Developing this typeface not only created an ownable and unique element for the brand’s aesthetic…but saves the company millions of dollars a year...."
Netflix's in-house team partnered with design foundry Dalton Maag, the company behind typefaces for AT&T, USA Today, and Intel, to create the appropriately eponymous Netflix Sans. There are six different styles: Netflix Sans Regular, Netflix Sans Black, Netflix Sans Bold, Netflix Sans Medium, Netflix Sans Light, and Netflix Sans Thin.
Besides the money, though, there's another reason many tech companies, including Apple and Samsung, choose to create their own typeface: It distinguishes the brand and adds an element of exclusivity. In a blog post about the design, Monique Adcock, a producer on the project, references certain distinguishing features:
"The unique characteristics of the typeface were chosen very carefully as it is meant to serve both display and functional purposes. 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."
Still, Netflix Sans doesn't look all that different from what's already out there.
"I love the new Netflix font, but when I saw it, I couldn't help but roll my eyes just the tiniest bit," designer Nick Misani told Refinery29. "It has a clean, elegant, functional vibe, with that slight startuppy edge and quirkiness we're pretty used to seeing these days."
Users who reacted strongly to Netflix's icon change in 2016 may feel similarly disappointed with this alteration. Consider yourselves warned, binge-watchers.