I really like the picture I found for this post. I know it's cheesy, but it sort of conveys my feelings about books. There is something magical inside each one of them.
At least all of the ones I've read and worked on. I know there's some downright smutty stuff out there, but I guess that stuff's magic to somebody too. YIKES!
What's most amazing to me is how I feel about the books that I have had the privilege of working on. It doesn't matter how much I relate to the content within any given book, I still find it a magical thing to have a part in drawing out the words and magic within by the skills I lend to it.
Fonts and graphics, headers and footers, covers and illustrations - they all contribute to what's inside in a unique and special way. If they look bad, it doesn't matter what the words say - they could be the most brilliant statements in the world - but they'd be tarnished for me if they weren't framed right by all the rest.
Appearances matter and I love that I get to participate in the process of making a book beautiful - whether it's online or in print, whether it's my words or someone else's - I just love being a part of it.
I recently read an article about book design and it correctly mentioned how many designers (myself included) have a set of "favorite" fonts. I definitely do have my favorites, but again, the best part of working on a book is finding its true character. To me that means looking for the RIGHT font. It can be a tedious process at times. Sometimes my favorites work, but many times they don't. It really does depend on the book. That's where I found I disagreed with that article, because it went on to recommend "best font combinations". And while it may be practical to have certain combinations that are your "go-to" fonts, that really goes against my whole approach to book design.
Every book needs to be taken as an individual body of work. It needs to be assessed and different styles tried until the best match is found. I love that searching process - even when it surprises me. Quite a few times I've gotten frustrated because I've worked on a design for hours only to, at the last minute, look at it and go - You know what? That's just not it. The best part of that is not that I work on it for many more hours (not usually, anyway!) - but that by that time I've gotten such a feel for the book that I can make a few tweaks to the design and make it look completely different, but completely and totally right. It's so very cool when that happens.
So my point in all this rambling about my love for books and book design is that every book is different. The character of a good book must be found and then used to it's fullest extent. So articles that talk about designers' favorite fonts and recommended fonts for this or that are great - but they don't always take into account the book itself.
My advice then to you in approaching the design of your book is not to find the nearest website with font recommendations but to invest the time and get to know your book (if you don't already!) and the possibilities for every aspect of its design - the fonts, the headers, the footers, the illustrations/images - truly the whole picture.
And why not? Go ahead and make it magical!