From author J.M. Ney:
This summer I attended a publishing workshop. Cover design formed part of the conversation, and I learned some critical details about it. My architecture background and my previous publishing experience meant I was doing a lot right, but I could do better. Not surprising! Architectural design classes don’t include typography and other elements of graphic design.
When I returned home from the workshop, I dove into tweaking all the covers for my stories. I’ll show the before and after versions. I find it fascinating that such small adjustments make such a big difference.
. . . .
There are six main categories of fonts.
Old Style – Traditional serif fonts that have been used for centuries. They are easy for the eye to follow, guided horizontally by the bottom serifs. They feature gentle transitions between the thick and thin strokes forming the letters.
Goudy, Baskerville, Garamond, and Palatino are examples of old style fonts.
. . . .
Three rules for choosing fonts for a book cover:
• Never use more than one font from each category.
That is, Braggadocio (modern) and Helvetica (sans serif) might work well together, but Skia and Charcoal will not.
Because the human eye likes patterns to be either exactly alike or clearly different. Similar, but not the same, makes the human eye struggle.
. . . .
• Do use two different fonts.
One font – say all Palatino – is overly calm, sedate, even boring.
Two fonts is interesting, but doesn’t overwhelm the eye.
Three fonts (each from a different category, of course) starts to be cluttered and busy.
Link to the rest at J.M. Ney