The Power of Typography: Font Choice Is Important in Publication

Fonts hold power equal to the words on a page, here’s why, as a writer, you should choose your fonts wisely.

Book Culture On Writing
Handwriting on a page

How often have you been forced to put down a piece of writing because its font isn’t readable? The power of typography lies in its ability to lure or deter the readers from continuing to read. According to the Oxford Dictionary, typography is “the style and appearance of printed matter.”

Let’s remind ourselves of the importance of the visual representation of words. How words show up on the page is just as influential as what they mean. They guide the reader’s eye swiftly across written material.

Key Features of Typography 

A cursive font style saying Familia on a white background

Cursive fonts are known to bring play and spontaneity to any page. These are light and often add an impersonal note to any writing. These fonts add to the artistic nature of font writing and create a bridge between the words and the reader’s perception of them.

  1. Typography is considered a form of art — It is a visual form of language through which meanings of texts are formed and derived. 
  2. Typography is a link: A link between the reader and the letters on the page. The fonts leave footprints and marks behind.
  3. An endless opportunity for insights: Typography is a form of art that is slow and deserves the same praise given to musicians and other artists. 
  4. Invite the readers in: The font should be able to reveal the meanings of texts and provide structure to a piece of writing. 
Book cover font example of a novel called The Switch by Beth O'Leany

Book covers intentionally choose their fonts. With handwritten fonts that are cursive in nature, the nature of the story is likely to be fun and lighthearted. On the cover of The Switch by Beth O’Leary, the font gives away the message of the novel being easy to read, pertaining to the themes present in the book.

Font Styles and Names 

  1. Serif fonts: Serif fonts are known for their timelessness. They are usually used in the body of texts and are easy to read. Serif fonts include Times New Roman, Didot, and Georgia. 
  2. Sans serif fonts: These fonts can be used for logos and headlines. They are versatile in nature and applied in different industries. San serif fonts include Superia Sans, Maven Pro, and Futura.
  3. Script fonts: Script fonts are cursive handwriting fonts. These fonts, despite being limited to their use, are best used for labels and stickers. Script fonts include Jaques & Giles, Thirsty Rough, and Mission Script.
  4. Handwritten fonts: These fonts are often imperfect and personal, providing a sense of handwritten feel. They are perfect for creating a personal connection with the readers. Handwritten fonts include Des Montilles and Infamous.
A page from the book Pride and Prejudice.

In the novel Pride and Prejudice, the font above is Caslo serif, which is a sophisticated font and allows our eyes to glide over the page smoothly. This relates to the time period that the book is set in and represents, along with understanding the audience that reads it.

Fonts Used in Novels

  1. Font choices are determined by the topic of the body of work. 
  2. Both genres of thrillers and romance novels employ different fonts as these relate to their overall theme and the feeling they’re trying to convey. 
  3. Special fonts are also used to differentiate between character’s voices and messaging in the novel.
Fatal Flaw Volume 5 cover. A person outside at 3 a.m. with a glowing light tracing from their head to their waist.

A publication that has chosen its fonts to be different for each aspect is Fatal Flaw Magazine. The title of the publication is distinct from the font of its date, adding play and momentum to the words on its front page.

How to choose the right fonts for your publication. 

  1. Understand the different font types and styles. Fonts belong to various font families. Understanding the variety of font styles helps you decide which one fits your motive to ensure perfect readability. 
  2. Get clear about your branding. Being familiar with your overall message and voice will provide a clearer direction for the font you choose. Every font has its own feel that you want the readers to be associated with. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to mix and match fonts for your headings, sub-headings, and body texts. Playing around with different font styles will allow your readers a chance to experience a variety of reading experiences throughout your text. 

Typography holds the power of determining what a reader feels and perceives whilst reading a set of words. Not only does one read intellectually, but also visually; hence, the choice of your font style might make or break readability for your readers. Pick your fonts wisely!

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