A D.I.Y. Guide to Designing Your eBook: Font Selection

by Jeffrey Yozwiak on

A colleague linked me recently to an article on The State of eBook Typography. One interesting takeaway: except for devices like the new iPad (a.k.a. iPad 3), device display technology has yet to catch up with print, sometimes making text hard to read. When I'm reading eBooks on some devices, I tend to turn the text size way up.

While ultimately your reader's device and font size are out of your control, Vook does make it easy to get a gorgeously-designed digital page. This post—and the next three—will be your step-by-step guide.


Vook fonts are divided into four different categories:

  • Serif: These fonts are great for body text and provide a "literary" feel.
  • Sans-serif: These fonts lack the curls at the ends of the letters. I might consider them for shorter blocks of text: quotes, tip boxes, captions, headers, and the like. When paired with paragraphs in a serif font, they contrast nicely.
  • Display: These fonts should be used for headers or titles. Let me repeat: these fonts are not designed for extensive body text. In this category you'll find you'll also find decorative fonts full of squiggles and scripts. You'll also find serif and sans-serif fonts that look good specifically in larger sizes.
  • Mono: With these fonts, each letter or character has the same width as any other letter or character. Usually, these fonts are great for snippets of code. These fonts also emulate the look of typewriter text, but that kind of effect works best in print and can be hard to read on a screen for an extended period of time.
Choose a nice, legible serif font for your paragraphs. One of my favorites is Crimson, which just looks like it belongs in a novel.

Liberation Serif, the default, is another good choice too. You can never go wrong with the Vook defaults.

Amongst the eBook reading devices, support for embedded fonts is growing, so there's no reason you shouldn't toy around with it.

See all of our 50+ fonts.

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