Using type ornaments in your book design can add a pleasing pictorial element to your typographic pages.
Depending on the tone you’re trying to establish with your design, there’s likely to be a choice of ornaments that will complement the other choices you’ve made when selecting fonts and the overall design direction for the book.
I’ve written elsewhere about finding fonts with ornaments included in their character sets, and there are many fonts dedicated to symbols, pictograms, or other designs that work as ornaments in books. Probably the best known of these is Zapf Dingbats.
One of the reasons type ornaments make a perfect complement to the rest of the typesetting in your book is because they are vector art, just like all the other characters in the font. This means they can be scaled to any size, and that they will fit perfectly on a page of regular, alphanumeric typesetting. They’re particularly useful if you want to spruce up your chapter opening pages or section openings.
Making Charts of Ornaments
When I’m designing a book for a client, I’ll often include one design that makes use of an ornament in the chapter opener or as a text break.
Inevitably, some clients say, “Hey Joel, this design looks great, but are there other ornaments I could choose from?”
That’s why I made up a PDF of some of my favorite ornaments for use in books. I called it “55 Sample Type Ornaments for Use in Books.” I know, not too original, right?
This worked well for quite a while until one client said, after perusing the 55 selections, “Don’t you have any more?”
Well, there are literally thousands of these kinds or ornaments. So I went back and created another set of ornaments, “55 More Sample Type Ornaments for Use in Books.”
All together, these 110 ornaments in a handy chart format makes it easy for an author to quickly find one that will work in her book.
Wouldn’t you like that?
I thought so, and that’s why I’ve combined both charts into one PDF you can download right now.
You aren’t going to be surprised to learn that I now call it “110 Sample Type Ornaments for Use in Books.”
The two charts in this download show the ornaments and identify which font each comes from. Some of these fonts are free, some are paid, but I’ve included links to all the fonts so you can see them for yourself.
PDF Download and Font Links
Download your copy of 110 Sample Type Ornaments for Use in Books by clicking this link: 110 type ornaments, or just click the image below:
Attention: I have been unable to track down the Bugg font, even though I have it on my system. If you know where to find a downloadable version of this font, please let me know in the comments. Do you know any fonts with great ornaments that I haven’t mentioned here? I’d love to hear about them.