Friday, March 9, 2012

Designs inside Books

Do any of you guys ever get irritated with the designs inside books?

1. Font Color

This makes it so much harder to read!  I didn't notice it in Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy at first--Shiver's font was a dark blue... but then I noticed it in Linger. I noticed the dark yellow in Legend and the dark red in Anna Dressed in Blood--why?  Do any of you guys enjoy it?  I understand that it's often done to match the cover, but there's a reason why so many papers and textbooks are printed in black and white.  I don't know.  It just seems like such a big risk for the publisher to take unless there are a lot of people who think it adds to the aesthetics.

2. Swirly Designs at Each Chapter Break

This is probably the most common out of all of them. I first saw it with the Iron Fey series, then Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, and then with Incarnate. I liked the butterfly designs in Incarnate, because the butterfly was symbolic of the book... and the ouroburos in the Prophecy of the Sisters was also symbolic, but having that on every page of the paperback freaked me out a bit.

But I think Iron Fey suffered the most, because the swirly designs add nothing. They're just pretty designs, not symbolic at all.  And I think that may have turned off some male readers from the books, because let's face it, we all do judge a book by its cover and when the curly designs continue inside the book... well, it's hard for me to imagine a guy actually liking that, though I can definitely see a guy liking the story.

3. Unusual Font

The font in Hush, Hush really bothers me. It feels pretentious, and I'm not sure what it's supposed to add? Another example is the diary selection in Blood Magic. Sometimes there are writing selections, and I don't know about you guys, but I prefer it if those were just done in italics and not a curvy font that's way harder to read.

What do you think?  Do you think these extras have any value?


  1. I think sometimes it gives the book character. For the font color, I was fine with the dark yellow in Legend, because it helped distinguish who's POV I was reading from. So if I stopped in the middle of a chapter, when I picked the book up again I wasn't confused.

    As for the swirly chapter designs, they don't bother me too much. And same goes for the weird fonts - I don't notice them too much.

  2. Oh, yes. I hate curvy fonts in books. I would much rather have it italicized or perhaps a different font that was still pretty standard.

  3. I love this post. We actually don't get that many design features inside english books, I think they recognise that actually they're annoying. We sometimes get cool chapter headers but I think that's about it. I think everything you mentioned is fairly annoying. We DO get changed fonts for diary entries and I do hate hard to read.

    The Cait Files


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