Squeaky toys and fonts

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Very Merry Christmas bundle banner with covers

I’ve been working on both the cover and the manuscript for “The Scent of Roses,” my short story that will be in the Haunted bundle. I’ve been experimenting with different fonts, which is not only really fun, it’s also quite time consuming. 🙂 My hope is that I’ll be able to find one font that will work for any ghost story I write – that way every time I put out a new ghost story I’ll know exactly what font to use, and theoretically my ghostly covers will match.

For example, here are the three witchy covers I’ve created so far – they all use the font Cinzel.

That font totally works for witch stories! And it would probably work for some ghost stories as well, but not all of them. And while I know there’s no guarantee that any one font will work for all stories in a category, it’s definitely nice to have the covers of similar stories look a little like each other.

That applies to the layout of the text as well as the font. In both “The Lesson of the Love Spell” and “Bewitchery” my name and the author tag (the “author of” line below my name) are in exactly the same place. That’s really simple to do (especially since I essentially have a witch cover template now), but it’s also nice because the two covers look like each other. The title text is sized differently because “Bewitchery” had to be in a smaller font so it would fit, but overall the two have the same general look and feel.

Yes, I am a little obsessive about this, but I’ve spent hours over the past few days fiddling with cover images, fonts, moving things around pixel by pixel… The fact that I have border collies should come as no surprise… They just obsess over tennis balls and squeaky toys instead. 🙂

2016-11-26 Dakota Ridge

  1. Alexandra Brandt

    Stumbled upon this post about a month late, so forgive me if this is no longer useful to you…

    But I also have been researching free fonts a lot (your Cinzel caught my eye – it came across my radar earlier in the year and now I have been seeing that font EVERYWHERE, especially on indie fantasy covers. It’s such a versatile fantasy-flavored workhorse!)

    Two free fonts I recently discovered that cover ‘weird’ or potentially ‘spooky’ fantasy are Ornatique and Spindle’s End. I think of Spindle’s End as being more contemporary/funky/weird, maybe a humorous ghost story. (BUT it does require a lot of hand kerning, because — as with a lot of free fonts — there are a lot of weird spacing issues between letters if you just use it as-is. To a lesser degree that is true with Ornatique as well. Also I discovered that while you CAN do all display caps with the latter, a little does go a long way…they are, as one might guess, pretty ornate. I think the ‘lower case’ — i.e. non-display caps — look spookier.)

    I’d use examples from my own book covers, but I don’t think they’re representative of the spooky potential of the fonts, since I used Spindle’s End in its more contemporary fantasy/humor capacity and Ornatique for a straight-up urban fantasy. But I think they both have the potential to be more ‘haunting’ when used in the right context.

    • jamie

      I see Cinzel everywhere now too! 🙂 It’s funny that I never noticed it until I used it myself.

      Thanks for mentioning Ornatique and Spindle’s End – I’ve added them to my list. There are so many fonts that it’s easy to spend hours browsing and trying them out, yet still miss tons of them, so it’s always helpful when someone recommends a font. And I’m making so many covers these days that new fonts are always welcome!

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