Authors: Don’t Overlook Fonts in Cover Design!

How much thought do you put into your cover design? The answer should be “a lot.” Readers judge books by their covers, like it or not. But there is more to the cover than the image. Even the perfect illustration or photograph will be all for nothing if you choose an ugly font.

Choosing An Attractive Font

It’s usually the last thing we add and the last thing we think about. Too often, we stick with those that come with Windows 10. While Win10 has plenty of attractive fonts, not all are suitable for book covers, they’re quite basic and don’t look great on a

Readers will judge your books by their covers, they will turn away from your book for using a plain or even ugly font. It denotes a lack of effort. It’s so easy to find fonts and most of them are free to use, even for commercial use, if you know where to look.

Also, not all Win10 fonts are permissible for commercial use – always check before applying these fonts to your book cover or other commercial material.

Choosing an Appropriate Font

Finding an attractive font is one thing, but you also need to consider whether that font is appropriate. An image’s context can change drastically depending on which font you choose. Some examples:

They are the same image with the same text, but do you see the problem? Image one uses Arial – a plain font useful in most situations but never appropriate for a book cover. This one looks amateurish.

Images two and three convey very different messages.

Image 2 is a comic font which would make me think this is a romantic comedy.

Image 3 is a horror font which will make me think it’s a slasher.

Image 4 has the type of font appropriate to the romance genre.

The fonts used in images 2 and 3 are not “wrong” – they’re nice fonts and better than arial. But depending on what genre you’re writing, they may not be appropriate for your book.

Places to Find Fonts

if you subscribe to Photoshop or any Adobe product, they have a selection of fonts that you can use for commercial projects like book covers. I’ve installed about 10 so far and have never once come across a font that requires payment or royalties.

My main go-to website though is Font Squirrel. Everything on the site is free. A word of caution, however. They sometimes link to off site fonts. These are almost always Creative Commons (which means you need to attribute the creator) or they require payment, or they are not permissible for commercial use.

Next, 1001 Fonts (which actually has far more than 1,001) also has a previewer. If I can’t find anything suitable on Font Squirrel, this is where I’ll look next.

Finally, I will turn to Font Space which has a handy preview tool where you can enter your text and see what it looks like before downloading. Be warned though, many of these are not for commercial use or require payment which may be out of the price range of the average indie author.


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Published by MG Mason Creative

I'm Matt, a freelance writer, writing mostly about education, early career recruitment, tech, B2B and professional services. Dabbling with landscape and nature photography too. For this content , please look at my main site linked below. I'm also a self-published author, creator of the quirky crime comedy book series Salmonweird. If that's what you're looking for, then good news! The village has its own website listed below.

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