21 Top Links to Book Fonts for Self-Publishing

by Joel Friedlander on July 18, 2012 · 23 comments

Post image for 21 Top Links to Book Fonts for Self-Publishing

One of the most often-asked questions on the blog is: “What text font should I use for my book?”

In fact, this question comes up so often I’ve written quite a few articles on the subject. But like most blogs, these posts can be hard to find in the dark reaches of the archives.

After writing earlier this week about the posts with the most blog comments, I realized that I had never brought all these articles together in one place.

To make up for that, and as a resource I can point to when people ask the question again about the best book font—certain to happen in the very near future—I’ve brought them all together here.

If you’re working on your book design, or if you design books for other people, help yourself to some font goodness. And if you’re not ready yet, bookmark this so you can find it when you’re ready.

Articles on Fonts for Book and Cover Design



Articles About Fonts

Picking Fonts for Your Self-Published Book
“Picking Fonts for Your Self-Published Book discusses how to choose fonts and suggests Garamond, Caslon, Minion, Janson and Palatino.”

5 Favorite Fonts for Interior Book Design
“5 classic type fonts for book design, a helpful listing for book designers and self-publishers, with illustrations of each font.”

5 Great Fonts for Book Covers
“5 Great Fonts for Book Covers including ChunkFive, League Gothic, Baskerville, Franchise and Trajan three of which are free for book cover design.”

Square-Serif Fonts Pack a Typographic Punch
“Square-Serif Fonts Pack a Typographic Punch including Rockwell, Serifa, Memphis, American Typewriter and many others including Chunk Five.”

5 Favorite Fonts with Hidden Type Ornaments
“5 Favorite Fonts with Hidden Type Ornaments shows samples from Minion Pro, Adobe Caslon Pro, Chaparral Pro, Zapfino and Warnock Pro.”

Specific Typefaces

The Century Typeface: An American Original
“The Century Typeface: An American Original. Available from many type foundries in many variations, Century is one of the most readable typefaces available.”

Typefaces I Can’t Live Without: Adobe Myriad Pro
“Typefaces I Can’t Live Without: Adobe Myriad Pro, a versatile sans serif font that can be used in almost endless ways in typographic designs like book design.”

Typefaces of 1932: Weiss Roman Specimens
“Typefaces of 1932: Weiss Roman Specimens shows pages from a booklet issued by Bauer Type Foundry for the printers of the time.”

Typeface Combinations

3 Great Typeface Combinations You Can Use in Your Book
“Deciding which typefaces to use can be a challenge for new self-publishers. Three great combinations of text and display typefaces are suggested, with illustrations of each.”

7 New Typeface Combinations for Book Design
“7 New Typeface Combinations for Book Design including typefaces for seven different genres of books, including Garamond, Janson, Helvetica and many other typefaces.”

Typographic Chapter Openings

8 Drop Caps For Chapter Openings in Adobe InDesign
“8 Drop Caps For Chapter Openings in Adobe InDesign with variations you can use in your own books to lend a decorative air to the beginning of your chapters.”

Book Design: 6 Variations on Drop-Cap Typography
“Book Design: 6 Variations on Drop-Cap Typography describes different methods to add decoration to book chapter openings.”

Fonts on the Book Page

3 Keys to Beautiful Book Pages
“3 Keys to Setting Up Successful Book Pages for self-publishers. Defining the typeface, line length and leading help determine the overall look of the book.”

Book Design to Sell: Fonts for Books
“Book Design to Sell: Fonts for Books with Laura Cross. In an interview Joel Friedlander talks about how to choose fonts for self-published books.”

7 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Book Design
“7 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Book Design including picking the right fonts and setting up your book pages.”

History of Typefaces

Beautiful Details, Beautiful Books: How to Recognize Oldstyle Typefaces
“Beautiful Details, Beautiful Books: How to Recognize Oldstyle Typefaces including Bembo, a classic book typeface from fifteenth century Venice.”

Typefaces as History: Aldus Manutius and The Noble Bembo
“Typefaces as History: Aldus Manutius and The Noble Bembo, showing how characters straight out of renaissance Italy influence the typefaces we use today.”

Old John Baskerville and the Birth of Modern Printing Paper
“Old John Baskerville and the Birth of Modern Printing Paper, where we see that the influence of technology can work to advance arts or retard them.”

General Articles on Fonts

Fun With Fonts—Identifont
“Fun With Fonts–Identifont typeface identification and search functions for book designers and typographers.”

These 3 Typography Websites Will Change How You Look at Type
“These 3 Typography Websites Will Change How You Took at Type including LetterheadFonts.com , ILoveTypography.com and WeLoveTypography.com.”

Understanding Fonts & Typography
“Understanding Fonts & Typography for self-publishers who want to design their own books.”

Photo by visual_dichotomy

Be Sociable, Share!

    { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    Colin Dunbar July 18, 2012 at 4:16 am

    This awesome, thanks Joel.

    Reply

    chris July 18, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for this all-in-one list.

    I think I’ve finally settled for a font pairing for the interior of my non-fiction book: Gill Sans for headings and Goudy Old Style for the normal text. I’ve printed out a couple of pages and it looks nice.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander July 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Chris, those fonts can work well together, especially if you use one of the bolder versions of Gill Sans to give some contrast and color to the pages. Goudy Old Style is an old favorite of mine and makes beautiful book pages.

    Reply

    Tracy July 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Sometimes I think too much choice is a bad thing. There are so many fonts and sub-variations on those fonts that it makes my head spin. Perhaps I can’t process more than 3-5 choices for a given item effectively. It’s a shame there isn’t a simple table to select appropriate fonts that is infallible. Or an “infallible five for free” that will work for any print or e-book.

    Reply

    Tracy July 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    HA!, Guess i missed the link to “5 Favorite Fonts for Interior Book Design”…. Long.. Long.. Long Day…

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Tracy, yes, that was exactly the idea behind suggesting just a few classic typefaces because the sheer number of fonts available can be daunting to the uninitiated. Hope that helps.

    Reply

    Maggie Dana July 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Chris

    Lovely combination you’be chosen. I use Goudy a lot; also Sabon, another elegant old style typeface.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander July 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I think Sabon was 6th on my list when I created the “Top 5″ post. It’s an elegant and useful faces that’s been used in many many books, so thanks for the suggestion Maggie.

    Reply

    Katie McAleece July 19, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Bookmarking this.

    Thank you!

    Reply

    Evelyn Puerto July 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Thanks so much for putting all of this in one place. What a fabulous resource!

    Reply

    Maggie Dana July 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Fonts are like lipstick and nail polish. Too many to choose from.

    Reply

    Keith Tankard September 6, 2013 at 1:17 am

    May I ask a related question on fonts? I’ve been producing an ezine for people with a passion for history (also one for English teachers and learners). They’re free and are meant to add something to my country’s social well being. But here is my problem.

    Initially I went for a font which I thought looked nice (I think it was Century or Century Gothic but with heading in Kaufmann BD BT). And to me it looked good when converted to PDF. But one day I saw the document on my wife’s computer and it looked truly dreadful because her computer was unable to read that font and therefore converted to what it decided was the next best thing, and it was nowhere near the next best. Later I bought an iPad and saw the same problem. It was a shock and my reaction was to convert to Arial.

    I read in two of your articles the suggestion that one should use something like League Gothic for the front page and Garamond for the general text. OK, but how does one know that all computers, iPads, etc, are going to read this text and not convert it to something else, especially since I had to download both fonts from Font Squirrel because neither were on my computer?

    Reply

    Lilly December 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    What is the font on the photo??

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    { 10 trackbacks }