Monday, February 8, 2010

5 More Pretty Neat-o Title Fonts . . . and One Question Mark

Because of this blog, I am becoming naturally more attuned to cover design and especially to typeface choices, which can make or break a cover. Take, for example this book, Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me (Kamehameha Publishing, 2008) highlighted by L. over at Jacket Whys. I agree with L.'s analysis. It's a gorgeous image, and I also agree that it's a toss-up over whether teens will be attracted to it. I don't know about you, but the typeface is off-putting to me. Doesn't it make you think of a book of essays, or a textbook, or one of those literary criticisms you were required to buy for a class? I had to look to make sure it didn't say Harold Bloom at the bottom. Sorry: Fail.

Now here's a book that's not due out until May, but it shows quite well what happens when the typeface fits the book:

This is Folly (Wendy Lamb Books, May 11, 2010), a historical fiction for teens (Yay!). It takes place in Victorian England, with a description that sounds as if the novel is full of joys and sorrows. Certainly, the cover suggests the sorrows. Note how the scratched ceramic surface of the girl's skin fits with the scratchy font, yet there's also a bit of joy in the slanting serifs and those curly "l"s and "y"s. Double-plus like.

Now more really neat-o title fonts for your viewing pleasure:

Seems like everyone but me has probably already read Beautiful Creatures, a gothic fantasy by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The actual cover, like many YA books out now, has fabulous embossed lettering. And what elaborate lettering it is.

Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum (Viking, 2009) is a middle grade historical (Yay!) in which the main character hawks papers on a street corner. Hence the well chosen, printerly font.

Here's a great, short blog post by Ellen Potter about first seeing the cover of Kneebone Boy (Feiwel & Friends, September, 2010), which has just the right lettering for some rather Addams-ish-looking kids, n'est-ce pas?

Ash is, in the author's words, "a lesbian retelling of Cinderella" (Little, Brown, 2009). The script typeface seems just right, and in purple, too. Romantic. Fairy tale-esque.

Speaking of purple, here's a comment from Barnes & Noble's Kim Brown about what's selling, cover-wise, at their stores. Thanks to the Chicken Spaghetti blog for posting the quote, so I didn't have the chore of typing it out myself.


  1. I love the Haida-looking art for the Deep Blue Sea Book, and that font really ruins it. I hate to say it, but you know what face would look good for that style? Neuland...

  2. I thought that, too! But even something with a bit of curl or wave would have worked.

  3. Hmmm...for me, the font for Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me doesn't look academic, it just looks straight-forward and clean - it works beautifully. I want to look at the swirls in the design of the dolphin (killer whale?), and I wouldn't want the font competing for my attention with its own waves or curls. In a way, the font used on the book looks clean-washed - appropriate for a tale about the sea. And Neuland, well, for me that font always feels pre-Columbia; it's supposed to be kind of Aztec-ish - and this story is set in Hawaii, right? Nope - I like the font plain. I don't know about whether teens will like it - it's true, teens like a bit of drama, but doesn't the design behind the font provide that?