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What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen?

Discussion on settings and adventures from Old Bones Publishing

What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen?

Postby Matt_E » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:33 pm

This came up on the BRP forum, concerning Guidelines: Setting Up Tasks, but it applies to all Old Bones releases so far. The base font for the documents is not easy enough to read, it seems.

You are not to first to criticize that font, and, in retrospect, it's even more troublesome for math.

It's a shame. I wanted something old-timey that looks well kerned and would stand out from other publishers as part of brand identity. In recent days I have been searching--a lot--for a replacement, but have not come up with a good one yet. Something like Palatino, Garamond, or Times Roman is certainly easier to read, but seems really flavorless, to me. Any suggestions, folks?


What do you think? Since we have a nice interactive community here on the forum, here's your chance for some more direct input. Have at it.
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Re: What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen

Postby Dan True » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:18 am

I mostly find that fonts are a dangerous way of trying to give atmosphere - I've mostly experienced it on website, but it also goes for books. One of the most atmospheric P&P books I own is the English version of 'Kult'. The book is very atmospheric, all pages have art running along the edges and shadowy images hinting at something beyond in the background...

But I'm pretty sure the font is one of the standard ones, Times New Roman perhaps. Ideally, your reader doesn't even notice the font if the rest of the work is atmospheric enough. An exotic font risks putting off as many people as are enthralled by it.

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Re: What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen

Postby Fall-from-Grace » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:33 am

Dan True wrote:Ideally, your reader doesn't even notice the font if the rest of the work is atmospheric enough. An exotic font risks putting off as many people as are enthralled by it.

- Dan


This pretty much nails it. I was just a few days back going through my old Ravenloft books, which are in my opinion among the most atmospheric rpg books I've ever read - they still use a basic font. As does - and always has - Call of Cthulhu as an another great example. If reader doesn't even acknowledge the font, it's successful.
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Re: What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen

Postby Matt_E » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:43 am

Yes, I completely agree: If you're counting on the font to mesmerize the reader, then something's wrong, and if you cast your work properly, then the font will go unnoticed (unless it's Comic Sans?).

I was never looking to bamboozle anyone...or cause headaches. ;-) I just thought that it would be good to choose something a little different, because my products are meant to be a little different. That's one reason why I don't include artwork, colored text, borders, page backgrounds, etc. To me, the focus should be on what has been written, and how it drives your thinking about your game; that is the product. The minimal aesthetic choices I have made include layout, formatting, and font--and apparently I have not done well on the last.

Thanks. Keep the notes and suggestions coming!
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Re: What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen

Postby raleel » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:11 am

I would say that it's only really the body text. While I'm not particularly a fan of the header font, it is not obstructive in the slightest.

as for unique flairs to help your brand and small documents like this, they are probably going to be minimal. Consider the Firearms supplement. Partially blackened borders, silhouettes of weapons, and... that's it. For yours, I might suggest something like changing the bars around the page numbers to femurs. You might have put one piece of line art in the example tasks section, though frankly, with all the subscripts and the graphs, I might have expected it in LaTeX ;)
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Re: What fonts do you like better than the one I have chosen

Postby Matt_E » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:51 am

raleel wrote:though frankly, with all the subscripts and the graphs, I might have expected it in LaTeX ;)


hahah Indeed. LibreOffice still does well enough for minor math like that. Let's leave TeX for the hard-core stuff. :P
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