Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All Those Lovely Letters

Lowercase g Yesterday, my editor sent me a link to a wonderful video my publisher has made about fonts.

You know what fonts are.  The typeface you're looking at is a font.

I have a long love affair with fonts, even before I got my first Dover book of alphabets some 30+ years ago.  (I still have a LOT of Dover books.) Back then if you wanted a cool looking headline (for those of us who were doing publications with an electrostencil and mimeo machine) you had to either use Letraset (like the rub-on letters you get for scrapbooking in the craft stores), or what I did, copy the alphabets and cut and paste the letters for your cool type.  I used to do drop caps the same way.  This was before you could do it on the computer.  This was before I HAD a computer. (Pre-1980s.)

I don't do much work in publications anymore.  About all I do these days is a brochure every now and then for whatever book/series I want to push.  I have a Victoria Square brochure, but it needs to be updated.  (Who knew I'd get nominated for an Agatha!)  That's going to have to wait a couple of weeks.  I've got a synopsis to tweak (for Monday), and a book to write (due in June).  Those are my top priorities right now.

Still, this lovely little movie was fascinating.  Not just to hear what favorite fonts the book designers use, but that some of Penguin's authors are heavily invested in the fonts used for their books.  (Like Patricia Cornwell.)  Of course, I would LOVE to talk fonts with the book designers, but I did notice that the authors who get a say in the typeface of their books are also published in hardcover.  Haven't hit that peak yet.  (But, hopefully it's on the horizon.)

If you've got 10-15 minutes to spare and you love fonts like I do, you'll be glad you watched this little gem of a video.