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      Gumroad Library

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      $29.99

      Basic Book Fonts

      12 fonts normally $25 each for sale in this package for under $30
      What do you need in a font family to make it exceptional for designing books?
      Good font families for book design are relatively rare. I’m prejudiced toward my designs (after all I designed them to meet my needs), but you need to be aware of which fonts might work for you and why. These fonts are a careful choice. They work best with InDesign on a Mac. Let’s start with some basic criteria for book design fonts.
    • Readability: Body copy set with the fonts you choose must be exceptionally easy and comfortable to read. Reading comfort is imperative to help the reader enjoy the book.
    • Extremely smooth type color: Type set with the font you choose must have excellent letterspacing and produce a smooth even texture when the type is set in paragraphs. That smooth, medium gray type color generated by the body copy is the background that you must have to easily contrast the headers—to make heads & subheads pop off the page, as it were.
    • Legibility: The fonts chosen need to be quickly absorbed when being used for headlines, subheads, captions, pull quotes, and the like. This is not the place for fancy scripts, or wild decorative typefaces. You need to be sure your readers can quickly comprehend your fonts.
    • Oldstyle figures: It would probably help if I called them what they are: lowercase numbers. 1234567890 They are essential for good type color—where lining figures [1234567890] are shouting just like all caps shout in an email.
    • Variety of weights: You will really need regular & bold weights, but light & black weights will help immensely.
    • True small caps: As we will discuss later, small caps are required in several instances.
    • True, but readable, italics: Obliques [slanted letters] simply look wrong to an educated reader. But many italics are closer to a script with all of the attendant readability issues.
    • Use a companion font for the heads & subheads
      This font family needs to be carefully chosen. It needs to have enough contrast to the body copy font to make the heads stand out. But it must have the same, or a very similar, x-height. This way you can use it comfortably for things like run-in heads, where the first few words in a paragraph are used as a contrasting low-level subhead. Your family choice should probably have a similar width. It should emphasize your stylistic decisions which were made to appeal to your readership. These choices are the main determinant for the basic historical and decorative style which is used in the niche with whom you are trying to speak.
      There are very few serif/sans combos which work for run-ins
      The difficulty is in finding similar x-heights and pleasing weight combinations. You can do very nice things when this is used. 
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