White Sister by Stephen J. Cannell. Interestingly, they have used a different font for the small caps opening the chapter, which are sans serif. Not for the drop cap though, which is serif, like the body text. I like the effect. This being a thriller, the sans serif small caps give the chapter opening a tension, somehow. The two fonts work harmoniously together, in that the reader would not necessarily pick up the difference, except perhaps on a subconscious level.

White Sister by Stephen J. Cannell. Interestingly, they have used a different font for the small caps opening the chapter, which are sans serif. Not for the drop cap though, which is serif, like the body text. I like the effect. This being a thriller, the sans serif small caps give the chapter opening a tension, somehow. The two fonts work harmoniously together, in that the reader would not necessarily pick up the difference, except perhaps on a subconscious level.

The Queen and the Nobody Boy by Barbara Else. This may be intended for children, but it does not pander to them: the design is attractive to adults also. The point size is small for a children's book, but it is balanced by the generosity of the leading. The leading makes it easier for the younger readers, while the point size does not deter the older. This is a smart design move, as it is never a good idea to narrow the marketing scope of your publication too much.

The Queen and the Nobody Boy by Barbara Else. This may be intended for children, but it does not pander to them: the design is attractive to adults also. The point size is small for a children's book, but it is balanced by the generosity of the leading. The leading makes it easier for the younger readers, while the point size does not deter the older. This is a smart design move, as it is never a good idea to narrow the marketing scope of your publication too much.

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. This has small caps opening each chapter, and each time exactly three words have been capitalised. Unfortunately, half the time the capitalisation does not reflect the meaning of the text, which is pretty bad typesetting etiquette. This is a prime example: 'SEAMIE STOOD STOCK...'.

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. This has small caps opening each chapter, and each time exactly three words have been capitalised. Unfortunately, half the time the capitalisation does not reflect the meaning of the text, which is pretty bad typesetting etiquette. This is a prime example: 'SEAMIE STOOD STOCK...'.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. A Penguin Classic edition. This is very much intended as a pocket paperback read, so they have used a small point size, narrow margins and tight leading. Too tight, to my eyes, as the ascenders and descenders of two adjacent lines are nearly running into each other, which must surely mar legibility.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. A Penguin Classic edition. This is very much intended as a pocket paperback read, so they have used a small point size, narrow margins and tight leading. Too tight, to my eyes, as the ascenders and descenders of two adjacent lines are nearly running into each other, which must surely mar legibility.

Eyes like Butterflies by Terence Hodgson. Terrible use of false small caps (I hope I'm right in saying that these are false. In any case, the weight looks all wrong). This might be forgiven in the running headers, but unfortunately every quote attribution has the same style applied. I do not find the normal cap opening to small cap words very appealing either, as it looks busy and distracts from the content.

Eyes like Butterflies by Terence Hodgson. Terrible use of false small caps (I hope I'm right in saying that these are false. In any case, the weight looks all wrong). This might be forgiven in the running headers, but unfortunately every quote attribution has the same style applied. I do not find the normal cap opening to small cap words very appealing either, as it looks busy and distracts from the content.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, e-book. Not to harp on about changing conventions when it comes to e-books, but here is an imprint page (note: I am putting aside the outrageously uneven leading and the weird soft returns) with large text that would surely show through on the title page were it a print publication. But show-through is not a factor to consider in e-book design.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, e-book. Not to harp on about changing conventions when it comes to e-books, but here is an imprint page (note: I am putting aside the outrageously uneven leading and the weird soft returns) with large text that would surely show through on the title page were it a print publication. But show-through is not a factor to consider in e-book design.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, e-book. The text seems inordinately large, but then, you can change the point size anyway in an e-book.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, e-book. The text seems inordinately large, but then, you can change the point size anyway in an e-book.

Devil's Pass by Sigmund Brouwer. This is young adult fiction, so why have such enormous leading? While it doesn't exactly decrease the text's legibility, it still makes the book look more juvenile than it has to.

Devil's Pass by Sigmund Brouwer. This is young adult fiction, so why have such enormous leading? While it doesn't exactly decrease the text's legibility, it still makes the book look more juvenile than it has to.

J. K. Rowling by Cari Meister. Again aimed at children, this entire text is in large sans serif font, with short ascenders and descenders. The only text in serif is the imprint page, which has the effect of completely segregating it from the rest of the book. Why not in sans serif?

J. K. Rowling by Cari Meister. Again aimed at children, this entire text is in large sans serif font, with short ascenders and descenders. The only text in serif is the imprint page, which has the effect of completely segregating it from the rest of the book. Why not in sans serif?

Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mathur. The same quirky font is used throughout, and while it is fun in the headings and works well in the body text (as this is almost entirely made up of one-liners), when used in a big block such as that on the inside flap, it begins to look inelegant and illegible. The letters look like they're about to do a disturbing dance right off the paper. Less text and more white space could have improved this situation.

Maya Was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin-Mathur. The same quirky font is used throughout, and while it is fun in the headings and works well in the body text (as this is almost entirely made up of one-liners), when used in a big block such as that on the inside flap, it begins to look inelegant and illegible. The letters look like they're about to do a disturbing dance right off the paper. Less text and more white space could have improved this situation.

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