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Fonts for book cover

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Offline George Hamilton
08 Jan 2014, 12:48 PM | Post: #1

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Fonts for book cover

Those of you who design your own covers, how do you choose fonts for the typography?

Do you choose from fonts of similar books – if so, how do you examine the fonts to work out which ones they are (what software)?

Do you have a list of fonts that work with particular genres and choose from those?

Do you just experiment with fonts in your library until you’ve found a suitable one?
Another method?

 
Thanks for your input.
Offline Jonathan Hill
08 Jan 2014, 01:19 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Fonts for book cover

Hi George,

I've always designed my own book covers, but it's only recently I've started making them look more professional. I've been working on Kath's covers and have learnt loads, which I hope to apply to my own books.

There really is no method when I choose a font. I think of the genre, have a rough idea as to whether I want the font to be bold, wishy washy, ghostly etc... and then I scroll through the possible fonts on my software. It's rare I hit upon the right one first. Trial and error is often the key here. When you have the perfect font for your cover, you just know it's right.

Good luck!
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Offline M.Ali Reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling
08 Jan 2014, 01:23 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Fonts for book cover

(08 Jan 2014 01:19 PM)Jonathan Hill Wrote:  It's rare I hit upon the right one first. Trial and error is often the key here. When you have the perfect font for your cover, you just know it's right.

Precisely. It's one of the things you have to see for yourself first before deciding if it's the right font.
Offline Campbell
08 Jan 2014, 01:30 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Fonts for book cover

For me, it comes down to a cost benefit thing. There are some really lovely fonts out there, but commercial use licences (and fonts are intellectual property, just like books so it's only fair to pay the creator) can run to up to £5k. For that reason, I tend to stick to pick a font that's reasonably priced (or that the cover designers I use have already got a licence to provide for their clients [i.e. me]).

http://www.fontsquirrel.com/ is great for browsing - and the 'almost free' section has some really well priced but high quality fonts available. Re genre considerations, use http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ to look up the font used on any cover/ image that you like, and then find out where to get it (and what it'll cost).

Then A/B split test the ones you like. Use your mailing list - divided it into sections based on number of fonts (so if you have 5 candidates, and 1000 emails do 200 each) and see which gets the most positive feedback / click throughs.
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Offline TechnoHippy Reading One book at a time
08 Jan 2014, 01:42 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Fonts for book cover

Legibility is the most important thing for fonts and also check that it can be read at small image sizes.
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Offline Kath Middleton Reading Hell, yes!
08 Jan 2014, 01:51 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Fonts for book cover

I agree with that. I'd always want to see a thumbnail before saying 'Yes'. I've never designed a cover of course, but I have had input into mine. Jonathan and I had some discussion recently about whether a font looked too modern for something taking place maybe 70 - 80 years ago. You have to have a 'feel' for these things. I'm lucky that he has!

There's also the cover picture to take into account. The font has to sit comfortably with that, and to fit the 'spaces' in the image. Often, it's instinct - and messing about!
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Offline emilynemchick Reading
08 Jan 2014, 03:49 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Fonts for book cover

(08 Jan 2014 01:42 PM)TechnoHippy Wrote: Wrote:  Legibility is the most important thing for fonts and also check that it can be read at small image sizes.
I'd agree with this. Legibility is essential. I had I Like You For Murder designed by a lovely fellow indie, and I have to admit I'm rather pleased with her clever idea for the title. Better than any font I could have bought or any cover I could have come up with myself.
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Offline George Hamilton
08 Jan 2014, 09:11 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Fonts for book cover

Thanks for all your input. I'll definitely be taking a look at WhatTheFont, Campbell, to see if I can find anything with that.
Offline Dorte Hummelshoj Reading Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton
08 Jan 2014, 10:10 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Fonts for book cover

... just joining the thread to be able to find it again.

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Offline Rosen Trevithick Reading
08 Jan 2014, 10:24 PM | Post: #10

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RE: Fonts for book cover

Legibility is key. Script fonts may look very pretty but they're killed by thumbnails.

Personally, I find the biggest problem with fonts is licensing.

For The Troll Trap's title, I found a font that worked but couldn't find out whether or not it was licensed for commercial use. So I downloaded Type light and created a similar font.

On my children's books, the handwriting font used for my name was based on one I created a few years ago after scanning a page of my own handwriting.
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