Why are tech companies making custom typefaces

Original URL: https://www.arun.is/blog/custom-typefaces/

The key economic argument for custom typefaces is licensing fees. Especially when one has to go global and have fonts for non-Latin scripts.

However, the author argues that there's more than just licensing and branding. Author claims that fonts have a functions and purpose, like furniture, using the following quote:

It is important to understand that a typeface is not a piece of art. it has a purpose, like a chair or an engine have. accordingly, before even putting pencil to paper, it is important to understand the requirements of what the typeface is trying to achieve. only once these requirements are known should actual design commence.
-- Bruno Maag

However, I don't see what the "functional purpose" of a typeface is, apart from some hints from the author, like being 'instantly recognizable' and the likes.

Tracing the argument further to Bruno Maag's interview:

designing a new typeface gives the client complete control over the look and feel, and probably more importantly, how this look and feel is translated across the diverse range of media we are operating in today.

a large part of development time is taken up by technical activities such as font engineering and hinting. this makes sure that the fonts work in a broad range of environments, across both printed and and digital applications.

by just reducing the character widths a few percent – without affecting legibility – it is possible to save paper, ink, print times etc.