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Welcome to Font School 101 - The Best Fonts for Inside Pages

July 14, 2021 (Last Updated July 06, 2021)

Marcy G.

In the world of self-publishing, the typeface that you choose is just as (if not more) important than the book design itself. After all, you could have the most authentic and captivating storyline on the market, but if the font is not easy to read or does not accentuate the message, it can easily deter your readers away. In general, readability stringently relies on legibility, making your typeface choice a make-or-break deal for most readers.


With that being said, what are the best fonts to select for a self-published book that both attracts readers and allows them to remain drawn to your storyline without difficulty?


Serif vs. Sans Serif Readability

It has been long debated whether Serif or San Serif offered better readability for published books. Serif fonts are the more decorative styles that often have higher end-stroke emphasis, which can deliver a more affluent, personalized approach. Overall, this is the traditional font with a formal/elegant undertone, with the most well-known one being ‘Times New Roman.’ Not all self-published books use Serif as their primary, but most do as it is the easier type to read on paper.


On the other hand, Sans Serif is a font type that does not feature any serif lines, giving it a more clean, minimal, and modern feel. The majority of these typefaces have either round or precise edges, can be thick or thin, and can be either formal or informal. In a nutshell, Sans Serif is highly versatile, with the two most popular ones being Arial and Helvetica. Though Serif tends to be used for the self-published content itself, Sans Serif is favored for digital/website content due to its directness and is commonly used for book headers, sub-headers, illustrations, and pull quotes to help it stand out from the rest of the storyline. 


The Best Typefaces to Choose Based on Font Type

For your interior book design, your font choice is entirely up to you. However, there are some notable font/typeface styles that historically work better for publishing books than others. For example, old-style fonts (aka ones designed at the beginning of book printing in the late 15th century) are still the most prominent ones in book publishing today. The reason why is because these fonts were created for the use of calligraphers before the invention of printing, making them already angled for print reading easiness. Today, most Serif fonts are bracketed in those old-style designs, with the most common self-publishing ones being:


·      Garamond (not ITC Garamond)

·      Sabon

·      Georgia

·      Caslon

·      Minion Pro

·      Janson Text

·      Palatino

·      Century (not Century Gothic)


**Times New Roman is not on this list, mainly because it was created in 1931 for the Times of London newspaper. That means this font, though Serif and popular, was better designed for narrow newspaper columns rather than wider book pages. Times New Roman is highly recommended for interior pages in modern  publishing.


What about Sans Serif? Sure, Sans Serif may not be great for the body content, but it can be a great addition for those breaking points. Because of that, think about using the following Sans Serif typefaces for your headers or other highlight point content areas.


·      Trade Gothic

·      Franklin Gothic

·      News Gothic

·      Myriad

·      Helvetica Neue


Typefaces to Stay Away From

Again, this is your published book, and you have every right to use any font you wish. Regardless, if you want the best chances at drawing readers in and keeping them interested, steer clear from hard to read, too complex fonts such as:


·      Rage Italic

·      Brush Script

·      Comic Sans

·      Papyrus

·      Gimmicky

·      Gigi

·      Chiller

·      Pristina

·      Curly


Remember, the idea is to help your reader understand the storyline and message, not be bogged down, distracted, or frustrated by the text they are trying to decipher.


Summary - What Font Should You Use?

In summary, Serif fonts are considered the best to use for long-form texts and within self-published books. Choosing one from the Serif list above can help your readers glide through your pages more seamlessly, making it easier for them to form that desired imagery under the letters. However, don’t forget that Sans Serif has its own set of advantages too, especially when it comes to digital text, book headers, and other self-published content areas that deserve to be highlighted. Sans Serif fonts are also great font to use for your book cover.


All in all, choosing your perfect font for your book design is certainly not something to take lightly or overlook. Even more, this does not have to be a decision you have to make entirely on your own. If you're still on the fence on which font/typeface to select or need more tailored support on which direction to go, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our 48 Hour Books team are experts in matching fonts with unique storylines and would love to help you achieve the publishing success you deserve.



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