Our love for great book covers is a matter of record here at The Reading Room. Choosing an image and design for a cover is a key part of publishing and marketing a book (after all, you don’t want your novel to look like everyone else’s.) But one key element of the cover is so obvious that you might not think about it at all. We’re talking about the font: the design element that carries the title and author’s name, vying for your attention and trying to send you a message at the same time.
When a book cover’s font is done right, it hints at the content of the book and becomes a memorable trademark for the novel – or for an entire series. Take a look at these seven examples of our favorite fonts, and you’ll see what we mean!
Like the rest of the books on this list, The Book Thief is well known because it’s a great book. But just like any other book, a great novel can benefit from having a grabbing font on its front cover. The messy, unbalanced letters of The Book Thief’s cover are like nothing else on the shelf, and they practically dare you to pick up and open the novel.
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has a simple but beautiful cover, and it’s thanks in a large part to the clever font choice. The chalkboard font clues us in to the age of the protagonists and evokes all the good and bad things about youth. Later, it takes on new meaning through the content of the books itself.
The Girl on the Train’s double font gives the impression of a moving locomotive, and that’s just the pace that this mystery moves at. There’s a hint of a classic feel to this font, too – something art deco about it that makes us think of classic crime novels like Agatha Christie’s. The Girl on the Train’s font is memorable and helps the book stand out from the crowd, which is why it makes our list.
We included The Godfather’s original text-heavy cover on our list of the greatest covers of all time. That’s because this amazing font was all the cover really needed. When it came time to promote Francis Ford Coppola’s fantastic film adaptation, this font was kept and it became even more famous – but it all started on the front of a book.
The instantly recognizable lightning-bolt font of Harry Potter has been with us from the very beginning. It’s emblazoned on everything from movies to t-shirts now, but it all started on the cover of this book. Like Mario Puzo’s Godfather, Harry kept his book’s font when he made the jump to the silver screen.
Long before Twilight, there was Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice. And just like Twilight later would be, Rice’s sexy vampire novel was given a distinctive font. Interview With the Vampire’s faux-gothic type immediately clues the reader in to the dark nature of the characters.
Twilight’s font is understated but instantly recognizable. On the cover of each book in the series, one letter in the title extends out to a point – like a fang, of course. Twilight’s font got a slight tweak when the story made its jump to the big screen, but the look remains pretty close to this stunning original effort.
–Stephen L., Staff Writer