Book Cover Design – Experimenting with Fonts

Choosing a font for your cover is hard to get right and you should take careful consideration before deciding. Hopefully these tips will help you.

  • It’s important that the style fits with your genre; a romance novel might have a swirly script whereas a fantasy novel might have a gothic or celtic feel to it.
  • Check that it’s easy to read at thumbnail size and that it looks good in black and white. People will be browsing over thumbnail images on book websites so the writing should be clear. Some e-Readers are in black and white so test that the font is still clear against the background images.
  • Make it stand out. As well as being easy to read, try making it pop off the page by experimenting with effects like drop shadow, glow or bevel. It’s tricky to get right and subtle effects often works best. Try the font in different colours.
  • It’s best to experiment with different styles to see what fits best, look at how it fills the page and how the eye flows over the writing.
  • Avoid using standard fonts as they are somewhat overused and wont catch reader’s eyes.
  • Don’t use more than three different fonts on the cover or it will look cluttered.

I downloaded all off them for free on fontsquirrel.

There’s some good advice about fonts and cover designs. Here are some articles if you’re interested.

Creating Cover Art: Down and Dirty Tips by Kristen Lamb
3 Ways Self Publishers Fail at Cover Design by The Book Designer
5 Great Fonts for Book Covers by The Book Designer
E-Book Cover Design Awards by The Book Designer

Thank you for reading this article.

7 thoughts on “Book Cover Design – Experimenting with Fonts

  • March 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm
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    You’ve chosen lovely rich colours. I think number 5 (second row, far left) is the clearest and therefore most legible at thumbnail size but still retains the feel you’re looking for in order to attract your target readership. The others seem a little too fussy.

    Good luck with the book! I’m enjoying following you on Twitter x

    Reply
  • March 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm
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    Thanks very much! I like no 5 as well, it fills the page well.

    It’s hard to choose, everyone has different favourites! 🙂

    Reply
  • March 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm
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    My personal favourite is 8, it fits the genre and keeps the cover light and elegant. The others look a little too heavy or cluttered to me.

    Your Arbeit Macht Frei cover is not showing! I looked at the previous 2 versions and personally I prefer the version without the lens flare, it’s an effect I don’t like much and gives it an artificial look.

    Keep rocking, Ruth! 😀

    Reply
  • March 9, 2012 at 7:14 am
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    I like the second one on the top row (or the third if you count the short story cover!) the best 🙂 I think it looks nice as a thumbnail and is unusual without being too fancy.

    Reply
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