Fantastic Fonts
By Preflight Books
Best Fonts

The Best Fonts for Book Design

12pt or 10pt? Times New Roman or Arial? With over 550 000+ fonts to choose from and numerous sizes a text can be, it can seem a bit daunting when it comes to choosing the best font for your book design. Even if you are self-publishing, you are not alone! We are here to help you understand what’s best for your book. 

Serif and Sans Serif Fonts

Let’s start with some basic terminology. Fonts can come in two different categories: serif and sans-serif. Sans-serif fonts are smooth whereas serif fonts have what we call ‘tails’ at the edge of the letters. The reason for these two fonts types is the ‘mood’ they give to a book as well as their legibility on screen versus on paper. Serif fonts appear more serious and formal and are often used for textbooks or non-fiction books. Sans-serif fonts are used for a more casual and minimalistic feel, often being used for children’s books or fiction books and online.

Why Size Matters

Making the correct choice of font size may seem easy. You might assume that you can pick any old size and it will be good enough. However, there are two factors to take into consideration when making this decision: legibility and context.

Legibility and Context

The majority of non-fiction and fiction novels vary between 10pt and 14pt for font size, but the best size is usually 12pt. At this size, spacing between each word is perfect for reading and there will be uniformity between your book and others of a similar genre.

Children’s books generally stick to the standard 12pt as well, but if they are intended for toddlers or very young readers, the font size should be between 16pt and 24pt so the child can read the text more comfortably.

Welcome to the Font Family 

As odd as it sounds, there are norms and expectations when it comes to picking the font family for your title. For instance, you would not use Comic Sans for an autobiography or Papyrus for a fiction novel.  

It is important to recognise what font fits with the genre of your book and it is necessary not to utilise bad fonts. While adding extra curls to your letters might look pretty, it will make your potential reader put down your book or keep a bookstore from stocking it. Below are a few fonts that are best suited for the most popular genres.

Fiction: Classic serif fonts such as Garamond and Sabon are the most used and associated with fictional novels. 

Non-fiction: Designers debate over whether serif or sans-serif fonts should be used for the body text of non-fiction books. We would recommend that you make use of Baskerville or Caslon. Times New Roman is not the only professional-looking font out there.

Children’s books: We prefer sans-serif fonts when picking fonts for a children’s book. These fonts tend to be attention-grabbing and decorative and will keep a child interested. Be careful not to make the font too fancy: it still needs to be easily legible to a child. Make sure that the font style and size match the tone you would like to illustrate with your book! Suggested fonts for these books are Gill Sans and Futura.

Wrapping Up 

When all is said and done, a book is a marriage of its contents and its design. Take your book sky high with Preflight books, where the best editorial and design choices are made, always keeping your happiness in mind. Request a quote for the layout design or publishing of your book here or send an email to info@preflightbooks.co.za with your requirements. 


Further reading:

https://www.millcitypress.net/author-learning-hub/design/book-font-interior-design/ 
https://www.indesignskills.com/tutorials/book-font-size/ 
https://whenyouwrite.com/what-font-size-are-books-written-in/ 
https://varrojoanna.com/the-easiest-fonts-for-kids-to-read/ 

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