Type is a tool self-publishers need more than most others because our main medium is words formed in type. But it isn’t just needed for the type of the books themselves, but good typography is key to good visuals, most of all in book advertising. Contrast is one of the biggest tools needed; we need to contrast font types, size, colors, and so forth. Today we’re going to be looking at this image for good examples:
This was made by a designer at the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association as part of one of their marketing plans; follow the link to see more of their work and examples http://www.midwestbooksellers.org/advertising.html
So the first thing we need to look at are the different types the designer uses. The first font we notice is the big letters on the left that tell us the book title. It contrasts with the rest nicely because it is large and because of that looks like it has more white than the other letters (though it’s the same shade of white) and because it is a script style font: you can tell it’s a script style font because it mimics the slanting of someone writing with a pen, is joined (making it a joined script) and has heavy thin to thick lines. All these features make it eye catching first. The image below highlights all these features in yellow.
The second font is more basic, mixing yellow and white letters for contrast, making the white things stick out more as well as using size to help draw the reader’s attention to those important sections. It uses a sans serif font: you can tell by the fact the serif (or decorations on the words most other fonts have) are missing and there is little to no heavy to thin lines, and the font is mostly all the same weight or thickness throughout as highlighted in yellow in the image below.
These types contrast well as they are from completely different families of type, take advantage of the contrast of the blue, white, and yellow colors, and size. The big letters of the title draw us in, and the white parts stand out more against the yellow sections bearing the author’s name and the less interesting part of the quote.
Using these contrasts gives the whole piece a more flowing look and helps us understanding what this is. The fronts tell us what to read first, making it clear the poster is an advertisement for a book. The white being at the top helps contrast against the dark blue ocean behind. This helps bring the whole piece together. This should hopefully give you an idea on how these types contrast and the power of contrasting type faces and colors. This is a beautiful example that we can all use to better our own works.