Best font/size for ebook?

by Clark Cassidy 19 replies
What is the best font and size of the text for an ebook? Something easy on the eyes of course, something easily read, etc.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #ebook #font or size
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
    Originally Posted by Super Man View Post

    What is the best font and size of the text for an ebook? Something easy on the eyes of course, something easily read, etc.
    I use Bookman Old Style size 13 in all my ebooks, and Tahoma for headings. Using a serif font is much easier on the eyes for reading blocks of text, as it leads the eyes left to right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Any legible font will do the trick; just avoid the script typefaces and other decorative faces. Stick with a basic serif or sans-serif typeface.

    As for size, I'd recommend 14 pt. Some people, especially older folks, will print out eBooks to read them, and 14 point type makes it easier on the eyes. It seems to be easier onscreen as well. Of course, onscreen you can zoom in and out as needed. But, with the 14 point type, you better the odds that they won't have to scroll side to side if they do need to enlarge the page.
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    • Profile picture of the author marcanthony
      I like Impact for headlines and sub-heads... no need to bold.

      For the body, I use 14-18pt Arial or Bookman Old Style

      peace
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      • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
        It depends on whether you are writing for males or females as serif tend to be feminine and sans serif tend to be masculine
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
          Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

          It depends on whether you are writing for males or females as serif tend to be feminine and sans serif tend to be masculine
          I disagree.

          A sans-serif font does not belong in large blocks of text -- male or female. It tends to pull the eyes down. good for headings, not for body.

          Show me a printed book that uses sans-serif in the body text. I would wager that even the most swaggering, male-oriented novel is set in sans-serif.
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          Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


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            • Profile picture of the author jonparker83
              I agree and disagree with everyone!!!

              I agree with Kevin that serif font are more readable on paper once they are printed.

              I find Sans-serif are more readable for screen use though.

              I personally use a sans-serif font but ensure that the word-spacing and line-spacing is such that the readers' eyes are drawn along the lines instead of down.

              I think it can be a matter of personal preference though and depends on whether or not you expect your readers to print the PDF or read it on-screen.

              Cheers

              Jon
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
            Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

            I disagree.

            A sans-serif font does not belong in large blocks of text -- male or female. It tends to pull the eyes down. good for headings, not for body.

            Show me a printed book that uses sans-serif in the body text. I would wager that even the most swaggering, male-oriented novel is set in sans-serif.
            Ah yes...but that's the printed word, Kev.

            Computers are a whole different kettle of hamsters. Light is emitted from the screen. The resolution is far lower.

            These things affect readability dramatically.

            Take Times New Roman - the staple font of the broadsheet newspaper. An exceptionally readable serif font.

            ...which almost exclusively looks terrible on-screen.

            That being said, I like the elegance of the serif fonts that were designed for the web - especially Georgia, which I almost always use for body text in reports or sales copy.

            I don't find much difference in readability between most serifs & sans serifs, so I just use what I like and to hell with my readers

            Steve
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            • I used to go with Bookman Old style. However, I'm using Tahoma for headings and Verdana 12 pt for text. Repeated feedback from readers informed my decisions.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
              Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

              Ah yes...but that's the printed word, Kev.

              Computers are a whole different kettle of hamsters. Light is emitted from the screen. The resolution is far lower.

              These things affect readability dramatically.

              Take Times New Roman - the staple font of the broadsheet newspaper. An exceptionally readable serif font.

              ...which almost exclusively looks terrible on-screen.

              That being said, I like the elegance of the serif fonts that were designed for the web - especially Georgia, which I almost always use for body text in reports or sales copy.

              I don't find much difference in readability between most serifs & sans serifs, so I just use what I like and to hell with my readers

              Steve
              You had to drag the hamsters into it. I warned you. Now they want a say.

              Mr Fullman

              It has come to our attention that you have put us in a kettle and used us in a most undignified manner to make your point about fonts. We are not amused.

              I'll have you know that us hamsters were reading long before you beastly humans came down out of your trees and started to mess up this fine world. It would seem that hamsters have made much better use of the printed word, using it to further our intelligence and foster harmony throughout hamsterdom, whereas you hairless ones have used the printed word for evil as much as good.

              You have also forsaken the serif font in many of your dealings, which can only lead down a slippery slope to total anarchy. We've seen this happen before with undisciplined, immature species such as yours. First it's simply a removal of serifs. Next you remove other things that you find superfluous, but which adds to the beauty of our world.

              I weep for your civilization. We shall miss your wheels when you are gone.
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              Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


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  • Profile picture of the author Solidsnake
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Super Man View Post

    What is the best font and size of the text for an ebook? Something easy on the eyes of course, something easily read, etc.
    Bookman old style and georgia is are the ones I preferred depending on the content.
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    • Profile picture of the author michellegreen
      I use Verdana 12. I find it to be nice and big and easy to read.
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      • Profile picture of the author eljay003
        My favorite font when creating my sites is Verdana or Tahoma. I used Verdana also in my emails. But for Ebooks, I find Bookman Old style better than Verdana. And I agree with size 13. They look perfect and just simply look great. It is also very easy to read.
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        • Profile picture of the author SuzanneH
          I use Verdana 12, as well.

          Suzanne
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          • Profile picture of the author Tovuti
            I prefer Verdana 12 for my ebooks and articles. It's easy on the eyes and the type is very clear.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
              Font legibility is more important than serif or sans serif. The concept that sans serif is better for headlines and serif is better for body text is something of an old wive's tale. Usability studies do not bear that out. Legibility is the most important thing. Are the letters clearly distinguishable? Does an "i" look like an "i" and not an "l"?

              Take a page from your eBook, and look at it on your screen. Is it legible? Print that same page out on an inkjet printed and look at it. Is it legible? If the answer to both questions is "yes," then use that font.

              Note that when looking at your printed copies, make sure the letters really are legible. Inkjets will tend to splatter and bleed a bit, so make sure the "i" doesn't end up looking like an "l". Also, make sure the "e" and "o" don't fill in to the point where they are indistinguishable from one another. If the letters don't print clearly, try a larger point size or a different font.
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              Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

              Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
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              • Profile picture of the author joecool1972
                I'm a Verdana 12, person as well, but I do also like Tahoma and georgia at times.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    Microsoft have spent a small fortune researching fonts for Office 2007. If Cambria (headings) and Calibri (body) are good enough for them they're definitely good enough for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

      Microsoft have spent a small fortune researching fonts for Office 2007. If Cambria (headings) and Calibri (body) are good enough for them they're definitely good enough for me.
      Tsk. Tsk. Are these the same people who developed Vista?
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      Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


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      • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
        Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

        Tsk. Tsk. Are these the same people who developed Vista?
        Yes, but they are developed with two completely different strategies. MS ship their operating systems safe in the knowledge that 1. they'll have issues but 2. they can fix it via updates for cheap.

        Fonts and other such components the world is stuck with ... forever. So MS spend a *long* time doing research into what works and what doesn't. They can't afford to ship it wrong because there is no way to fix it.
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