Skip to main content

Figuring out fonts

For the past couple of days, I’ve been studying fonts. I want to find the exactly right one for the cover of my upcoming book, the Warrior’s Heart. Anyone who has ever tried to do the same knows it’s not easy. The sheer amount of fonts is overwhelming and just because you like a font doesn’t mean it’s suitable for your purpose. There was a timely reminder of the latter on my twitter feed only this week:


I looked at fonts on only one website, Fonts2U, and there only on one category, gothic fonts. The fonts on that site are mostly free to download, but they are not all free to use. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a handy search function that would have limited the search to those I could use so I ended up going through approximately 500 fonts of about 2500 there were in that category. It took me quite a while. I really like fonts and I don't find the task of finding the right one a burden. But, after a while, they all began to look the same.

Today, I went through what I had downloaded. I had found quite a few nice fonts and I tested them all. They weren’t all suitable for this book, but I can use them in others. And there were more than one that was almost perfect so the task of finding the right one isn’t over yet.

So what is the right font then? Frankly, it’s impossible to tell, but you can narrow down the possibilities.
  • The right font has the right atmosphere for the genre of your book. It can be romantic, funny, futuristic or gothic, for example. For the most part, these are pretty straightforward to figure out. If you’re not exactly sure, study the covers of the professionally designed books of the same genre.
  • The right font is legible. As I went through the font samples, I skipped all those that I couldn't read with one glance. Remember, too, that just because a font is readable on large sizes, it doesn’t necessarily remain so when the cover is shrunk to a thumbnail, so test it out.
  • The right font isn’t overused. This is perhaps the most difficult thing for an amateur to know about until someone points it out. I wouldn't worry about this one overly much, but I would avoid the obvious ones. I downloaded the Hobbit font used in - or similar to that in - the Lord of the Rings movies, but it's too recognisable to use in anything but funny private projects.
  • The right font is the one you’re allowed to use. Remember to check the licenses.
I have found these points helpful when narrowing down the possibilities. I hope they will help you too. And if you need more, here's a couple of useful links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My #worldcon75 experience

Here’s the long overdue report from my day at the WorldCon 75, my first ever time attending. The event was held on August 9-13 in my home country, Finland, so it was a once in a life-time chance to experience it with a minimum trouble. I originally thought to attend the entire five days, but life intervened in the form of work, and so I could only attend on Saturday. I tried to make the most of it by planning a full day.

I arrived at the conference centre about fifteen minutes after the doors opened at nine in the morning, and the queue was already at least fifty metres long. It caused me a few palpitations until I figured it was the line for people who hadn’t purchased their day passes in advance. I had, so I just walked past, trying not to look gleeful. Half an hour later I felt bad for all those people when it was announced that the day was sold out, which left most of them outside. The queue for pre-purchased passes was three persons long, the shortest line for me the entire day. I…

Reading recap: August

August was my worst reading month so far and I only managed to finish two books. I have no excuses other than that I was busy working. I did start two more books, but I didn’t manage to finish them in August. And even though I read eight books in July, I’m now two books behind the schedule in my reading challenge of fifty-five books. I’ll have to step up. As has been my habit throughout the year, one book was from my reading list and the other wasn’t.
First book was Ride the Storm by Karen Chance, the long-awaited next chapter in her Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series of time-travelling Pythia and her entourage of vampires, demons and mages. One vampire and one mage in particular. As always, it was a wild romp through space and time – at times a bit too wild. The first part of the book was constant tumbling from crisis to battle and back with no breathers or plot development in between, as if the author was afraid that the reader will get bored if something earth-shattering isn’t co…

Reading recap: April and May

It’s already June and I realise I’ve completely forgotten to update you on my reading in April, so this is a double feature for May too. April and May weren’t particularly good reading months in terms of numbers read, partly because I read a couple of longer books that took longer to finish, partly because other engagements kept me from reading – I know, right – and partly because I started and then discarded a number of books that I just couldn’t get into. But those books that I ended up reading and finishing, five in all, were all absolutely brilliant. Four of the books were from my reading list, and the last one was an absolutely necessary addition.
First up was one of my favourite series, Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. Book number fifteen, The Chosen, was as good as any in the series, which hasn’t had a weak book yet. I really like Ms Ward’s style of edgy writing, and especially how she introduces characters and their backstories throughout the series, and follows them afte…