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Posts tagged fonts

Tips of the day for self-publishers: The 10 commandments of typography
December 22, 2014 | 4:25 pm

One design-oriented set of tips that actually might be quite useful for self-publishers and independent publishing houses is the "10 Commandments of Typography" shared by Yardley, PA, logo and graphic design studio Designmantic. Their visual breakdown of Typography 101 (or in this instance, 10.1) could make a great deal of difference to the font choices and internal layout of a self-published book, as well as to the cover design. For instance, the sixth commandment - "stick to two fonts. Only go for three if you must" - could lead to far fewer eye-straining design excesses. And the seventh - "don't mix...

Adding Custom Fonts to E-reading apps
September 10, 2013 | 4:19 pm

Ever found an e-reading app you like, but the font choices drive you crazy? Not all apps support loading your own fonts, but several Android apps do, notably Aldiko, Moon+ Reader and Mantano. Note that iOS users are out of luck, although jailbreaking your device might give you the ability. So how do you find and load your own fonts? This gave me trouble at first because when I checked Google Play, all I could find were apps that allowed me to change my system fonts, and they required rooting, which I wanted to avoid. Finally, I found a site where you...

Fonts and E-Books: Author Madeline Miller is fan of Baskerville
August 24, 2013 | 2:34 pm

e-booksFamily friends in Edinburgh introduced me to Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles,” and while browsing through the book (on paper, for a change), I came across her concluding text on the book’s font, “A note on the type”: “The text of this book is set in Baskerville, and is named after John Baskerville of Birmingham (1706-1775). The original punches cut by him still survive. His widow sold them to Beaumarchais, from where they passed through several French foundries to Deberney & Peignot in Paris, before finding their way to Cambridge University Press. “Baskerville was the first of the ‘transitional romans’ between...

Should we make e-books harder to read?
February 11, 2012 | 5:15 pm

In 2010, I looked at a Princeton study that found using harder-to-read fonts actually improved memory retention. Recently, writer Alan Jacobs at The Atlantic has considered that same study (via the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman) in light of what it might mean for e-readers. Jacobs writes that he prefers the slow, click-intensive method of annotating common to e-ink readers rather than the “easy” method with tablets, because he is better able to remember what he annotates through e-ink readers’ more difficult process. E-books are in their infancy now: there's...

Kobo releases firmware update to permit custom fonts, margins and spacing
July 8, 2011 | 7:22 am

If you've got one of the new Kobo Touches, there's a new firmware update available that will give you greater control over how pages are displayed on the device. To update, visit and download the most recent Kobo Desktop Software, then connect your Kobo to your PC via the USB cable; the update should start automatically. Here's a quick overview of the new features, from Kobo's announcement: * Personalize Your Reading Experience by Adding New Fonts: The new firmware allows users to add their own fonts easily and quickly for total personalization. Simply create a new Font directory on the...

Change the font on your Kindle without hacking it
June 30, 2011 | 9:46 am

Images That's the title of an article at Chris Walters' Booksprung blog.  Here's a snippet: I finally updated my installation of Calibre the other day and started playing around with the built-in plugin manager under Preferences, and I found out that the Kindle Collections Manager plugin has a secret power: it can let you add a new font to your Kindle without requiring any sort of hack or jailbreak. If you want a different font but don’t want to mess with all the other risks/delights that come with hacking your Kindle, this is a nice clean alternative. To use it, you’ll need the most...

A typographic checklist
May 8, 2011 | 10:16 am

AChecklistThis checklist is from an article in Monotype Imaging's site.  If you go to the original article you will find links to each item on the list with an explanation of why it is there.  The list was compiled by Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio and a typographic consultant. I always recommend that designers and students make a typographic checklist to help avoid committing type crimes, as well as to aid in finessing their typography. I’ve decided to create a checklist that covers issues I’m most frequently asked about in my workshops. You can download the PDF and print...

Review of the typography of The Daily
February 7, 2011 | 3:05 pm

Screen shot 2011 02 07 at 3 04 37 PM We've all seen plenty of reviews of The Daily, but how about a review of its typography! As a "font fan" I found this fascinating. Here's a snippet: ... While the content is on the lighter side, the design isn’t frivolous or cute. It’s not Gray Lady formal, but it does have the look of a fairly serious weekly news magazine. Much of this posture comes from steering clear of ultra-modern or casual typefaces and choosing the more conservative Founders Grotesk, Kris Sowersby’s ode to English Grots of the early 1900s. Sowersby toned down the idiosyncrasies of the...

Are e-readers too easy to read?
January 15, 2011 | 8:15 am

With all the discussions of eyestrain that have taken place over the last few years, you can imagine the double-take I executed when I saw an article in The Telegraph that suggests e-readers can be too easy to read. Neuroscience blogger Jonah Lehrer suggests that, because e-book readers have easy-to-read fonts that produce minimal eyestrain and do not require as much effort to read, they actually interfere with information retention by subconsciously suggesting that the information we read isn’t as “important” as information that’s harder to process. It sounds like a load of psychological mumbo-jumbo, but then I remembered...

Michael N. Marcus: Ugliness of e-book formatting bleeding over into print books
November 1, 2010 | 2:52 pm

pizzas Michael N. Marcus, who I mentioned a few days ago when Amazon subsdiary CreateSpace refused to print his book because it mentioned Amazon (they subsequently called him to apologize and let him know that was a mistake) has written a post comparing books vs. e-books to craft vs. chain pizza. The analogy is made on the basis of typographical matters and quality. After painstakingly examining a 318-page book he’s publishing line by line to make sure that word spacing, hyphenation, and so forth look as good as possible on the page, he received a copy of Dan...

Fonts of wisdom? Study shows harder-to-read fonts improve learning
October 23, 2010 | 12:15 pm

46672b1a-c29a-4889-8700-3476076621ffAll the people and businesses who have concentrated on making e-books easier to read might actually have been doing things wrong all this time, at least from the standpoint of education and retention. The BBC reports that a Princeton University study shows that using difficult-to-read fonts leads to better information retention. Volunteers were given text about made-up aliens written in different fonts (16-point Arial pure black vs.12-point Comic Sans MS 75% greyscale or 12-point Bodoni MT 75% greyscale), distracted for 15 minutes, then tested on the material. It turned out that the ones who had the harder-to-read fonts remembered...

Jailbreaking Kindle 3 to add fonts, screensavers
September 23, 2010 | 12:28 am

It's a jail, get it? Well, OK, a Marshall's Office anyway. (Taken at Red Oak II, Carthage, MO) It’s been possible to “jailbreak” (love that verbing of nouns) iPhones and iPod Touches for a long time (and recently, it was even declared legal), but I hadn’t known it was also possible to jailbreak the Kindle. This enables adding custom fonts, USB networking, or new screensavers, and who knows what else. The complete details are in a post on the Mobileread forums. The post claims that the jailbreak will not interfere with adding future official software updates, but also notes a firmware bug has occasionally led to people losing their collections and having to re-download (so be...