A Tale of Two Fonts

sample paperback font for blog2

I take a quick break from the 24/7 aural assault that is my 17-year-old daughter being obsessed with One Direction to share some book design stuff.

After the … shall we say, “slightly” … disappointing hard-copy proof I received of the new edition of Ain’t That America, I thought about fonts. I know that I wanted that pulp-fictiony font from the ’50s and ’60s, the kind that was in every paperback. So, in a stroke of partial awareness of the outside world, I searched for “paperback font.” And, um … there it was:

Paperback 12 Roman

It was free for commercial use, unlike the actual font used in those paperbacks of yore, which is called Times Ten and costs more than I expect to make from this book, so there ya go.

I was going with a font called “Bell MT,” which had a lot of the old-school I was going for, but wasn’t quite there. As in my first marriage, I was prepared to settle. Bell MT was good, although a little too classy-looking for what I wanted. The Georgia font I used for Darwin’s Dreams was really not what I need here … but since the hard-copy proof needed to be redesigned anyway, I took a little extra time and found the font of my dreams.

In this image, I’ve placed the old font choice on the top (the heading font is called “AR Darling”) and the new one on the bottom (here the heading font is my new cover font, “American Purpose,” a good ’50s-looking ad font I adore).

What do you think? I’ve heard from a blog reader who prefer the AR Darling over American Purpose, which is interesting because this person has read Ain’t That America and so has an informed opinion. Your thoughts are very welcome.

BTW, a couple of cool zombie posts coming up tomorrow! Stay tuned! Or logged on. Whatever you kids are calling it these days.

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5 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Fonts

  1. Ha! I was all set to reply to your dingbat comment, and lo, it ain’t here! Coward!
    But I am confused. You have two samples of the same paragraph. I prefer the second one. I have no clue what AR Darling or American Purpose is. I thought the font on the cover was too big, making the whole thing look busy. But I was on about the size, not the font. So I have no idea what I’ve recommended.

    • Lol, no prob! I removed the “dingbat” comment because (1) it was stupid; and (b) I value my life. Now I gotcha on the cover font. And yes, the lower image is the font I’m going with. Thank you for the feedback, luv!

      • But… all I was gonna say is I resemble that remark. Your life wasn’t in danger too much.

  2. I, too, have read the book. Ahem. I prefer the Paperback 12. It’s cleaner and easier to read.

    What’s One Direction? Oh, wait. I’ll use my old standby, LMGTFY.com.

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