6 Comments

  1. As a designer and “typophile,” I’ll have to take slight exception to your advice on typography. Whatever the typeface, plain or fancy, it has to fit the content and the rest of the design, which does not necessarily always mean unusual display fonts.

    My first three covers all used professional photos in wrap-around design with distinctive typefaces. Bashert used a pseudo-Hebrew font called Mitzvah–very appropriate and an obvious choice considering the content. The Dome used Albertus Extra Bold, distinctive but not “striking,” chosen for the way it complemented the background photo, with hand tweaked inter-letter spacing. Third in that “series” was Web Games, with Peignot (actually Exotic 350, a clone) title and author line. Some might call this striking, but again chosen for its feel in relation to the material and contrast with the digitally enhanced night aerial photo of Tokyo. Novel number four, a complete break from the previous ones, plays with layout to fit the subject (a discontinuity in the word “singularity”) but uses a a typeface that the average viewer would think quite ordinary, Blue Highway, unusual in quite subtle ways and chosen among hundreds of alternatives because it supported the very fussy spacing I wanted to make the graphic (heavily processed photo) dominate the visual experience. (These covers can all be seen by going through amazon.com/author/liorsamson.)

    The risk of advising unusual fonts is that tyros tend to go wild with exotc typefaces that are certainly striking but may also often compete with the design or content or both and be hard to read as well.

    • Hi Larry – thanks for your comments. I think we’re both saying similar things, you advocating for restraint, me urging for more creativity.

      Success lies in the middle, with self-publishers neither using the same design and fonts found in business reports nor going crazy with ridiculous fonts that detract from the whole.

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