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Book typography: The reality of picking fonts — 5 Comments

  1. Hello, David –

    Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to this.

    I recently finished writing an English textbook and am in the process of getting it copyrighted and ready for printing. I used Apple’s Pages program for the book and converted it to a PDF file for printing. The font I used was Shree Devanagari 714, which was included in the Mac OS. I am of the understanding that the fonts supplied with the OS are free for commercial use such as printed publications. Is my understanding correct? I would be grateful for your input.

    Thanks very much for your help.

  2. They can be used for PDFs, with no problems. However, they don’t give you a license to use the font for ePUBs or Kindle books, as far as I know.

  3. I also found this: E. Fonts. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may use the fonts included with the Apple Software to display and print content while running the Apple Software; however, you may only embed fonts in content if that is permitted by the embedding restrictions accompanying the font in question. These embedding restrictions can be found in the Font Book/Preview/Show Font Info panel.

    In Font Book, I see enabled is yes, so that means [I think] that you can embed in a PDF. However, you probably cannot use as a Web font or in an ePUB.

  4. My daughter (a designer) and I spent an interesting afternoon helping me choose the fonts for the print version of Pride’s Children.

    I had done lots and lots of reading and studying and checking licenses and availability and prices. It was a good education for a layman.

    We compared page after page, making sure the final result was highly legible, and the italics were both legible and distinct enough to be obvious, and that the fonts use for headers and titles and text inserts and a special prologue (which is a faux New Yorker extract) worked together.

    I also wanted a resonance with my cover fonts; all in all, the process took quite a while to get right. With the ebooks I worried more about spacing than controlling the fonts, but with the print books I got MY book to look the way I always wanted, and to be easy on the eyes, have wide margins and a good balance of text and white space…

    It is a huge job, but ended up being enjoyable. I now have my ‘look’ – I’m branding my future output with the decisions I made last fall, and I’m happy with them.

    And I’m more than happy I learned from blogs, yours included, because if I were not publishing myself, I never would have learned as much as I hope I did, nor had been able to use it.

    If at all curious, do the Look Inside on the print edition at Amazon.

    Nothing is perfect, but every decision was deliberate. I thank you for writing these posts.

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