Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fun With Fonts by Alison Henderson

Did anyone else think of Sheldon Cooper's "Fun With Flags" when they read this title? I hope so. I'd hate to think I'm the only Big Bang Theory-loving, romance-writing geek out there.

Today, I want to talk about fonts. When you look at a book cover, yours or another author's, do you think about the font the artist chose? The cover for my first book, Harvest of Dreams, used the most amazing font. I had never seen anything like it, and many readers commented how much they liked it. That cover remains one of my favorites, and the font is a big part of the reason.

Unless you design your own covers, you may not pay much attention to font choice, but the font can tell the reader as much about the story as the images. It provides additional clues to the genre, tone, and subject matter of the book. For example, when I designed the cover of Jannine Gallant's seventeenth century historical, An Uncertain Destiny, I found a wonderful font to suggest the period and setting.
 

Take a look at the cover fonts on some of your favorite books. What do they tell you about the story? Do they add to the visual impact in a positive way? Do they make you want to pick up the book? After all, that's the whole point of the cover.

I'm currently working on the cover for Small Town Christmas Tales. You helped me choose a background image; now I'd like some input on the fonts. In these examples, I've tried several different fonts for the title, sub-title, and author's name. Please look at each element individually, as well as the whole composition. What feelings do they spark? Do you like the author's name in all caps, or not?

Here's the first iteration:


Now #2.


Here's #3.


And #4.


The stories are all warm-hearted, and some are a bit whimsical. I want to give readers the right first impression. I'll probably mix the elements from a couple of the options above. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Alison
www.alisonhenderson.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.henderson.33
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alsnhendersn

16 comments:

Leah St. James said...

I like the title font in #4 the best (last one). On your name, I don't have a preference, but I would go with whatever most of your covers are for brand consistency.

Margo Hoornstra said...

For whatever reason, #1 immediately drew me in. Felt warm and homey. My favorite personal font is called Park Avenue. Looks nice on business cards. It's kind of like the type you used for Jannine's name on her cover. You do good work! ;-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

I like #1. Old fashioned look. Sweet scene. Good luck with this set, Alison!

Jannine Gallant said...

Doesn't my cover look pretty! I still love looking at it, even after more than a year. I'll stop gushing now... I like #1 best. It has a great feel to it.

Alison Henderson said...

That's Clicker Script, Leah. It's one of my favorites. I don't think I can go for brand consistency with this cover. My last novel was romantic suspense, and I used a big, blocky font for the title. It fit that story (and I plan to use it for the whole series), but it doesn't feel right for Christmas stories.

Alison Henderson said...

Thanks so much, Margo. I really enjoy having another creative outlet that's visual instead of verbal.

Alison Henderson said...

Thanks, Rolynn. These are sweet stories, sort of like Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, so I wanted the cover to match.

Alison Henderson said...

Your cover DOES look great, Jannine! You chose wonderful images to work with. I love #1, too. I'll probably use that for the digital version for its readability. I'm thinking of using #3 for the print version because I've found that some elements that look great in thumbnail format are too large on a full-sized book.

Patricia Kiyono said...

My order of preference: 1, 3, 4, 2. At first I thought the font for the title on 1 and 3 was a little too cutesy, but if the stories are whimsical perhaps it fits. I don't have a preference for whether the author name in caps or not. Congrats on the new book!

Alison Henderson said...

I had the same concern, Patricia. That's why I tried the title fonts in #2 and #4. However, it seems people are responding very favorably to the original font. Thanks for your input!

Melissa Snark said...

Definitely #1

Liz Flaherty said...

I am #1 or #3, and I can't even tell you why!

Alison Henderson said...

You're in a strong majority, Melissa!

Alison Henderson said...

I bet it's the curly title font, Liz. It's called Harrington and just seems to say "Christmas".

Leah St. James said...

The curly font is festive! It's a lovely cover, even if my favorite font was a definite minority! :-)

Diane Burton said...

Numbers 1 & 3 are so similar I couldn't tell the difference. I don't like the last one. Too hard to read. While #2 is the easiest to read, it doesn't convey the tone of our stories.