Gio Design Studios: Cover it! Fonts

Taken from Gio Design Studios website:

One of the most important elements to the cover of a novel is it’s fonts. As a designer of covers I have more fonts available on my computer than you could shake a stick at–one of my go to’s is to never use a “normal” font that can be found by any person in Word. There are some that may appear to be normal Word, but they most certainly aren’t. Each of the fonts I use are handpicked for their design elements, now not every font I pick is over the top. The thing with over the top fonts, like say Mutlu, is the fact that when you are putting them on a cover that at many times will be viewed at thumbnail size, you can’t read them. They look beautiful on your paperback cover, but they become fogged and difficult to read. This isn’t to say that I don’t use over the top fonts; I just use them sparingly–for say one word of the cover. For example you can see the Mutlu font on the cover for Fallen Beneath in the Stock Cover examples. It’s important to make sure that your font is for the most part able to be read on a thumbnail size image. The thumbnail size image is what you typically see on the Amazon or other similar websites search page. You may be wondering, if you don’t use fonts from Word where do you get them from? I get all of my fonts from, and you can too! The thing to be very careful about is the rights to the font. You need to make sure when you download a font that it is allowed to be used for commercial use. To make sure I don’t get stuck on a beautiful non-public domain font, I change my settings immediately to search only for fonts that are free and on the public domain–this means I can use them without violating any copyright laws. I download new fonts almost weekly, so that I have a large variety to choose from.

The next thing about your font is what you do with it in Photoshop. You have lots of options in Photoshop to further the uniqueness of your font, but user beware, you again need to make sure that it looks good at thumbnail size. In order to edit your text you have to be in Expert mode in Photoshop and work with the text layer. One of the easiest ways to pop a font on a cover is to add shadow to it. You can add shadows of any color you would like with varying lighting angles, distances, size and opacity. There are several other features of the program where you can fade out the fonts so that they are transparent and many other editable features. I am a professional photographer, so I am a Photoshop minimalist at heart. I believe that a photo should speak for itself without the need to be modified to the point where the only thing that is real in the photo is maybe one element. I feel the same about covers.

Here is one of the newest covers designed and it’s specs:

Fonts (top to bottom):

  • Calfish Script Pro (Lighting Angle 30%, Stroke: Size 13, Opacity 100%)
  • FairydustB (Lighting Angle 30%, Drop Shadow: Size 0, Distance 24, Opacity 100%, Bevel: Up, Size 10) Features secondary line pulled forward, sized down, so that “in the” is in the front of both top and bottom title, creating overlap.
  • Trajan Pro (Lighting Angle 30%, Drop Shadow: Size 0, Distance 10, Opacity 100%)
  • NeoclassicFlueronsFree (None)

Photoshop edits:

  • Select areas heightened in contrast and darkened
  • Vignette added to fade out corners
  • Lomo Color Cast Added


For more information on costs of cover design and the process please see Marketing Services>Book Covers HERE


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