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book layout design

The fonts you choose to use on your website and book covers will affect how users and readers perceive you. Not only are fonts important, but the colors and spacing are as well. You want your work to be attractive or else people will quickly move along to another (maybe not-so-good) writer’s shiny page or book.

Two quick notes before moving along if you’re not familiar with font lingo:

Serif fonts, like Times New Roman, have little “legs” along the edges.

serif fonts

Sans serif fonts, like Arial, are without (“sans”) these little hashes.

sans serif fonts

The best fonts for websites and blogs are sans serif styles. You need to tailor to your audience. The number of people accessing websites from mobile devices is growing exponentially. People consume content quickly by skimming websites. It’s much more difficult to skim a paragraph of Times New Roman than Arial. You may have something interesting to say, but the font is going to turn people away.

An old graphic design rule is to choose two fonts—and only two fonts—in any particular design. This means your book cover should have two different fonts tops. Maybe one for your title and another font for your name. Or perhaps one for your title and name, and another for a review/blurb. When picking these two, pick one serif and one sans serif.

Keep fonts at a comfortable and readable size. Back in the day when I was working the 9-to-5, I hated when my boss would take a letter I had written for one of his clients and give it back to me with no changes other than to make the font size 16. For a business letter! I advised him against it, but he said the size 12 font was just too small for him to read and he couldn’t imagine anyone else being able to read the letter without squinting. Of course I obliged, and suggested he visit his optometrist, but the letter dripped with unprofessionalism solely based on its appearance. On websites, avoid garish over-sized fonts that look unnatural. If someone has vision problems they can put on glasses, increase the font size on their own browser, or zoom in on their smartphone. The majority of your audience will be turned off if you choose to use a larger-than-life font.

I came across this awesome font/design website that allows you to interact with multiple fonts and styles to get a true feel for how they display.

Having the right font means that people will be inclined to stay on your site and read your page, and then be inclined to visit another page, and if you’re lucky—they may share your website with their social media circles. Each of these signals—the length of time spent on your site, their engagement, their sharing activities—send information to search engines that your site is valuable. This will help boost your ranking in organic search results.

book cover color choiceColors affect human behavior on a neurological level. The most popular color on the covers of top-selling books? Yellow. PayPal buttons for purchases? Yellow. You will probably notice this more now. Do you write about food? Stay away from blue. It is known to decrease appetite. Check out this awesome infographic on color psychology.

Now I’ll have to wonder if the design of this blog lured you in to the end of this post.