a weblog for readers and writers

Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finding the Font that Fits

As a writer, I may strike you as the kind of guy who thinks of fonts as key. On the contrary — although my head is usually full of words, the font they’re cast in seldom enters my mind at all.

That’s why it came as somewhat of a surprise when my publisher, Atticus Books, asked me if I had any preference regarding the font that Tracks would be typeset in.

How is it possible I’ve read these billions and billions of words and seldom given any thought to their font?

For my decades of writing, I've pretty much stuck to three fonts (or four if you include dot-matrix): Times New Roman, Ariel, and Courier (the last of which I haven't used in years and only then because it looked to me like typewriter print).

As it turns out, font happens to be something Atticus Books does think about. In fact, each of the book they’ve published, so far, has been cast in a different font. Now that’s something to get keyed-up about!

Over the past weeks I've spent some time reading about fonts, putting passages of Tracks into different fonts, and trying to figure out what fonts I like best.

It seems appropriate that a book be set in the a font that fits the mood of the story. Perhaps a story about an old newspaper man in an old-fashioned courier, or an absurdist comedy in comic sans, or a computers-take-over-the-world futuristic fantasy in a sans serif.

But in most cases, it’s a little difficult, finding the font that fits.

Regardless of what anyone likes, I think the number one factor is that it be easy to read. The best fonts don't call attention to themselves.

What’s your take on type? Do you have a favorite font?

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