The Complete Guide in Choosing Book Cover Fonts

A book cover font might initially seem like an inconsequential aspect of your book, but it can be the difference between immersing your reader in the atmosphere you are going for and messing it all up. All in all, choosing the right font for your book’s cover is critical, and this guide will help you make that decision.

Before the cover font, there are design, tone, color aesthetics, and more, and they have to be considered as well. Every aspect of your book is collaborative, and can complement different aspects as well. After all, your cover is your first impression, and you want to make the best of one.

Find out why typography matters, and how you can choose the right one for your book.

Book Cover Fonts – Getting the General Ideas Across

The first and most important thing you must do is make sure that your font is either free to use publicly, or if it requires any payment, you have bought it, and you have the legal rights to use it. If you are using a paid font, make sure to read the fine print and that you are free to use it for commercial purposes; that is, in your book.

Most of the typefaces typically come with some sort of Digital Rights Management (DRM) or digital protection that prevents distribution of your font. That means you might be able to use it yourself, and put it in your own device however you like, but you might not be able to embed it into a pdf.

If, for any reason, you are not 100% on the owner of the font, you can ask that person or entity (a designer or a company) about it and clarify it for you. There are both commercial and free font options available online, but know that using paid, commercial fonts might always be a better option simply because it improves the quality of your book. A commercial font might not be available to most, so it will definitely add some exclusivity to your work.

Not All Fonts are Created Equal

When it comes to typefaces, they are of two different kinds. The first category of the typeface is designed for text, and the other for display. If you aren’t sure what that means, don’t worry. We are here to make it all clear.

Different fonts have different messages due to their designs. They are made to fit a certain aesthetic. A few fonts might be primarily designed to be written in the body text instead of the title or a book cover. It is designed to be readable and easy on the eyes. Those fonts work best in smaller points (font sizes), meaning that if you put them in the title, it can look strange to the reader.

There are also fonts that give off a certain impression, such as handwritten fonts. They are meant to display simplicity, a personal touch, a font as if written by a human being instead of a computer. Those fonts are neither for titles nor for body text, but to be displayed using, for example, quotes. Fonts that are great for titles are meant to catch attention, and work best when used in larger sizes.

Bring Variation to the Fonts in Your Book

Fonts also have variations of themselves. Initially, and in certain sizes, they might look the same, but small and subtle differences matter. For example, the title to a webpage will have darker fonts, and the main body text will be lighter. The font design they use will be the same, but this simple difference will make a huge difference.

Ensure Your Keep the Designed ‘Look’ of the Typeface

If you want to make the font look the right, make sure that you consider both your book cover, and the font itself. If you stretch it too much, or try to change anything about it normally shouldn’t, it might mess things up. Fonts are carefully designed, and they are made to look just right. Fonts also come with different weights, meaning certain fonts might have more weights than just bold or italic.

So, if the font doesn’t work, it is always better to choose a different font than to disorient it to fit your vision. Keep an eye on the kerning of your font, which is the spacing between the letters and characters. If the letters are too close together, it might look peculiar, or if they are too far apart, even more so.

Placement can Make or Break Your Cover Design

When it comes to a book cover design, where you place that title and the typeface is critical. Sometimes, simply changing the placement instead of choosing a different font might do the trick. That is where typography is most important, because these typographic solutions give book cover designs a unique look without you having to choose or purchase new fonts, while still bringing the best out of your design.

Experiment with the placements and alignments of the typeface. Don’t be afraid to try different things for headlines and titles. There are no rigid rules defining placements, but rather, accepted industry standards.

Breaking that standard is perfectly viable, as long as you harmonize everything. Put the title at the top, center, bottom, or maybe do something else entirely. Put it in a vertical slice along the front, or tilt it to the side. It all depends on what you are doing with your book.

For example, if your book is about breaking the norm, then doing that exact thing with the title and its cover font might take your book up a few notches. These types of harmonious aspects make a standard book a thing of a best seller.

Test, Try, and Review

Keep trying new titles and typefaces. Use font generators to find new fonts you might not be familiar with, because you could really find a new favorite one. Generating new fonts and testing them out is easy, but once you decide on it, make sure to see how it looks in different sizes, in the printed form, in the eBook format, and more. Chances are that a font in smaller sizes might not look the same as it does in larger sizes.

It Is Important to Decide on Fonts by Genre

Different genres want to tell different types of stories, so this is one particular aspect that not only matters in the book title, but also everywhere else. Find out how you can select your book cover fonts by considering your book’s genre. Here are a few examples of how you can consider different fonts to complement your book’s genre.

Non-Fiction and No-nonsense Fonts

When it comes to non-fiction, there are usually simple fonts used, with minimal (if any) flair in them or in their design. These are designed to be readable, professional, and serious in their tone and impressions. They are the most straightforward, often preferring minimalism and simplicity above all else.

San-Serif, as an example, is an industry standard for non-fiction books. From cookbooks to autobiographies, you will often find sans-serif, because it gives everything a professional look. Self-help books presenting advice want to be taken seriously, too.

The Horror Genre, and Unease

Horror books need to present a sense of unease and tension in them. Horror books want to immerse their reader, and what better way to do it than to incorporate as many horror elements you can in your typeface for the cover font—if you are taking that direction. If you want your horror to be more subtle, you could try for a bit of subtlety in the typeface, or even keeping it completely normal. Who knows, maybe the complete lack of ‘doubling-down’ on the horror elements might really unsettle your reader!

That being said, a font such as Cocaine Sans can be very effective for some slasher horror type books. It is free to use, too.

The Happy-Go-Lucky Typefaces

Railway is a great example of a simple, yet serene font that is best used in book cover designs that aren’t too busy. They are meant to be simple and not be too ‘busy,’ so that you can read it with a clear mind. Motivational books and ones that are supposed to be happy-go-lucky or guilty pleasure types of books are especially great for this font.

Conclusion

Overall, a book cover font is seemingly inconsequential, but its importance can only be stated by one thing; it is right there on the cover. Every aspect of the cover is the hook, the thing that gets potential readers interested. They look at the cover before they read it, and despite what popular belief may tell you, people do judge a book by its cover! I hope you enjoyed reading about choosing the best book cover fonts, however, if you still have some questions in mind then feel free to share in the comments section.

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