Ever since, computers have come bundled with fonts. This single fact is responsible for the overwhelming popularity of both Times New Roman and Arial, and that has had mixed blessings for creators and consumers alike.
Computer engineers can be forgiven for putting these fonts in a premium position. After all, they wanted to make sure even a user who had no knowledge of or interest in fonts would still get a good, or at least an acceptable, result. But there are problems with that approach, too.
Times New Roman, for instance, is a font originally designed under the supervision of Stanley Morrison in for use in the Times of London newspaper. Its efficient set width and other internal properties of the design were intended to be readable in the narrow columns of a newspaper, not in the more ample environment of a book.
Arial is a copy of Helvetica, probably the most popular font in the recent history of typography and the only typeface I know of to have an entire feature film made about it is wonderful for many uses.
Luckily, as computers have become more powerful and users more sophisticated about typography the art of designing with type there has also been an explosion of new fonts from lots of new designers. So it might surprise you to find out that by far the best fonts for use in books are the oldest.
Or, if not the oldest, the fonts based on the oldest designs for fonts, those that originated in the very beginning of book printing in the late 15th century. These fonts were based on the writing of calligraphers, the scribes who, before the invention of printing, were responsible for making copies of books by writing them out.
Oldstyle fonts have characteristics that show that origin, and which make them ideal for book composition. For a more complete discussion, check this link to oldstyle fonts.
Okay, so now you know how to recognize oldstyle fonts, how is that going to help you? Although these fonts have a lot in common, they will create books that look subtly different. The best way to find out how your book will look and feel is to set some sample pages in each one.
Typesetting with a word processor is never going to give you the smooth color, sophisticated hyphenation, and fine control over your type that you can get with a professional-level program. Originally published in a slightly different form at CreateSpace.
Photo by fontfont. The Copperplate will probably note translate over well. But Garamond will likley get substituded for something very similiar. If you want to total control, you can choose one of the 11 fonts to sub for Copperplate in the titles before submitting.
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That should give you some control there. Did you say I could turn my attractive Copperplate book and chapter titles into jpegs to cement their look in there? If so, is that tricky to do?
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I have just finished a long non-fiction manuscript as my first, for paperback and ebook printing by both KDP and Ingram. I picked an attractive Copperplate Gothic Bold font for titles and Garamond for the text in the paperback version, but I understand that Kindle can only use only 11 different fonts.
Is it wise to 1 first pick a font of my choosing from those eleven to modify the text now for the EBook version before uploading it to those sites, and 2 while I see many recommending Georgia as a serif font for text for low resolution screens, some recommend sans serif fonts for titles.
Do you recommend any fonts for titles that keep at least some of the sexyness of the Copperplate Gothic bold one? The book is a serious, more scholarly theological book and not just a flashy coffee table book, so flash is not honestly the main intention.
Certain fonts are best for reading in print and others good for reading online. Get some advice here on picking fonts for your book. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. Comments The Copperplate will probably note translate over well. Thank you so much for all your help! Friedlander, I have just finished a long non-fiction manuscript as my first, for paperback and ebook printing by both KDP and Ingram.
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