We covered how book cover fonts can make or break your book cover in part 1 of this complete guide, we covered: general rules for book cover typography, how to get fonts and what (not) to do with them, placement, book title font generator, book cover fonts by genre, non-fiction book cover fonts, and horror book cover fonts.
Today’s Table of Contents
- Comic book cover fonts
- Romance book cover fonts
- Sci-fi book cover fonts
- Fantasy book cover fonts
- Children’s book cover fonts
- List of fonts
Comic book cover fonts
The rules are much less specific when it comes to comic books, as it is more of a medium than a genre. A professional designer has to place the book not only within the medium but also the different subgenre. It's most likely you'd need a different one for the body text, non-human sounds, signage, and more. What we said about style, is even more relevant for comics.
Here is a selection of some top favorites:
Neil Gaiman’s name is written vertically, which would be a big no for most genres. On the next cover, at least two different types are used, and both are serif. This violates the first rule of typography: do not use two conflicting fonts for your book. On a comic book, it works.
Romance book cover fonts
The first book for romance is an excellent example of a not-so-good cover. The author’s name is almost unreadable due to the small spacing. The red used for the name does not match the main color scheme. The way they broke the title is non-aesthetic, the function word “to” sits oddly before “Paris.”
Remember, make your title BIG (especially if it's a long title). We can hardly read the title and the author of the second book. Also, drop the Comic Sans and don’t use black on a dark background.
The same goes for the third book: drop Comic Sans. It is silly to use a font to sell a product, which is hated by enough people for the BBC to write about it.
Let’s talk about tendencies. Warm colors, ornamental, serif fonts are a must. Handwritten, calligraphic fonts could also work if you make sure that it is still readable.
The most perplexing but great font we came across is the Calissa Words (free for personal use) which gives you a set of words with ligatures, but no letters. You get the words assigned to the letters of the keyboard. It is odd, but the type is indeed beautiful.
Lavenda (free for private use) is another nice one. It is a simple, lovely and easy to read handwritten font.
For a younger audience, teen romance, LT Chickenhawk is a perfect choice.
The WOW! (Women on Writing) has published a compelling article about how covers are the main tool in dividing the market into women’s fiction (“serious literature”) and chick lit (“easy read”).
(Source of the picture: wow-womenonwriting.com)
You can use this opposition for your own advantage by designing your cover bearing in mind what you want people to think of it and where on the market you would like to be positioned.
Sci-fi book cover fonts
There are tons of futuristic, light, serif or sans-serif fonts on the market. Sci-fi books usually come with a dark cover and light title, using pastel colors. Check this website for bad examples, and here are the nice ones:
The last of these covers is strikingly different. It is purposefully deceptive as it makes you expect something from the 1800s. The readers it aims to reach are not the “traditional” sci-fi audience, but whoever would take the Memoirs of a Geisha off the shelves.
Cerena is an excellent sci-fi font, free for private use, but you should lightly know about InDesign. Can you see the gap between the A and T in the first picture? It is a straight cut line between the two letters. Just use the font in InDesign, and the gap is gone, without us having to change anything.
Not Just Groovy (free for personal use) a favorite - the usage of all lowercase is also common for sci-fi.
Fantasy book cover fonts
Great fantasy books (luckily for us, readers) always come in series. A well chosen font and placement will make your book recognizable from far away: your fans will instantly spot your book anywhere. Some examples below include the great urban fantasy series of Ben Aaronovitch and everyone’s favorite epos by George R. R. Martin. I’m sure you get the idea.
These authors built a brand for themselves by following a consistent theme in their bestselling book covers.
For a fantasy book, your cover has to convey the mood of the book. It also helps if your cover image orients the reader: when and where in the fictional world are we? But remember to never disclose too much, don’t ruin your readers’ surprise and journey of discovery.
Optimus Princeps (left) is a great serif, all caps font. It is ideal for all your fantasy needs from Middle Earth to Gilead.
Oranienbaum (right) is a well balanced, light and modern serif font which would look great on any urban fantasy or anything set after an imaginary 19. century.
Children’s book cover fonts
Children’s books, similar to fantasy books, are likely to come in series. Aim for a unique style, a brand you can keep and which mums and kids easily recognize. You can use bold colors and creative, handwritten-style fonts.
Surfing Capital is a brush-like font in all caps, easy to view.
Bakery is free for personal use script with great ligatures and a wide range of possible usages. It is not as easy to read as the previous one, but kids from 8-9 years old will likely be able to tackle it.
List of fonts
All in all: try to find the balance in book cover design. Try out different typefaces and layouts, until your book is great to look at (and your title is legible in thumbnail size). There is obviously no one-size-fits-all solution for your typography problems, but trained eyes will easily notice if something is about to go terribly off.
Check our list of other free or easy to buy font collections we came across and happy publishing!
MyFonts – A collection of the best-known typefaces globally. The fonts are free to try but come with a charge if you want to use them.
Behance Free Fonts – Amazing fonts shared by the design giant Adobe
Font Squirrel – A beautiful selection of free for commercial use fonts - who has time to pick from thousands?
CreativeBloq – With descriptions as specified as “high-contrast serif display fonts,” this website has something for everyone.