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Old 01-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
Bri Perkins
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What font are books printed in?

Manuscripts are preferred to be written in Serif fonts like Courier and Times New Roman, I hear, though I've never seen an actual printed book in Courier. What font are novels commonly printed in?
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
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I don't think there is a set font although I could well be wrong.

For what it's worth, why do you ask?
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've never seen a standardized typeface either.

But I do write and prefer editing in courier new, I find it easier to tear apart, but by no means would I read it for pleasure.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seun View Post
I don't think there is a set font although I could well be wrong.

For what it's worth, why do you ask?
While I was working on my novel today, it was just a random thought that popped into my head.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure people choose the font on a book-by-book basis, though it wouldn't surprise me if books by certain imprints used the same font. For examples, mass market paperbacks in a certain genre or... I'm honestly not sure, but there's definitely no One Font to Rule Them All or anything.

I do know that Amulet Books (a YA imprint with VERY GOOD TASTE... I mean... ahem) has a page at the back of their books describing the font they use. So maybe pick up some of those and flick through.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:01 PM   #6
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There is a fairly large category of fonts that are known as book faces, but the type chosen for a particular book has a lot to do with aesthetics and with cost; some fonts are tighter than others and save space (and paper); some fonts are easier to read in small sizes, etc.

But common book faces for body text include Garamond, Palatine, Bookman, Janson, Optima . . . there are many others.

There are also fashion issues; typefaces go in and out of fashion, especially in the digital era.

Many books today still have a colophon, a section that is typically on the very last page but may sometimes be in the frontmatter, wherein the typefaces and sizes and leading, the book designer and the editor and typesetter and publisher will be named.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri Perkins View Post
Manuscripts are preferred to be written in Serif fonts like Courier and Times New Roman, I hear, though I've never seen an actual printed book in Courier. What font are novels commonly printed in?
There are several typefaces suitable for books. Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier are NOT suitable, and lead to eye fatigue and inattention in short order.

I prefer Bookman Old Style or Book Antigua, both of which were included with my Word 2000 package. Try printing a page of text in TNR and Bookman and see the difference. Include a few italics and bolds to get the full idea.

Line and paragraph spacing also affects the appearance of a font.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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Based off lessons in typography, which vary a bit, but they tend to agree on blocks of text. For a blocks of text online studies have proven sans serif fonts are easier to read, ie Verdana or Arial. For blocks of texts in print serif fonts are better, ie TNR and Palatino.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Based off lessons in typography, which vary a bit, but they tend to agree on blocks of text. For a blocks of text online studies have proven sans serif fonts are easier to read, ie Verdana or Arial. For blocks of texts in print serif fonts are better, ie TNR and Palatino.
Correct on the preferred uses of serif and non-serif fonts, but you'll look long and hard to find a commercially-produced book set in TNR. Even newspapers, which gave birth to it, have largely abandoned that font. It's much harder on the eyes than Garamond or the other fonts mentioned by Medievalist.

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Old 01-07-2013, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Correct on the preferred uses of serif and non-serif fonts, but you'll look long and hard to find a commercially-produced book set in TNR. Even newspapers, which gave birth to it, have largely abandoned that font. It's much harder on the eyes than Garamond or the other fonts mentioned by Medievalist.

caw
Of course, I was just giving examples people would likely know.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
Correct on the preferred uses of serif and non-serif fonts, but you'll look long and hard to find a commercially-produced book set in TNR. Even newspapers, which gave birth to it, have largely abandoned that font. It's much harder on the eyes than Garamond or the other fonts mentioned by Medievalist.

caw
Five years ago TNR was pretty common in genre fiction.

Right now, I'm seeing lots of Caslon.

Janson is still favored for books that need to be set really tightly; I first met Janson when it was used for setting the longer books in The Modern Library.

I had to use it to set Les Mise, and found it very frustrating because it was so very very tight. I've not used it since for anything.
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