Poll: What Font Do You Like?

When I was growing up, I always dreamed of having one of my books published by Del Rey Books. At the time and even now, Del Rey has been a quality company, one that has published some of the best names in the fantasy and science fiction genre.

Of course, with Terry Brooks has the foundation of Del Rey and given my own fan appreciation of Terry’s work, it’s easy to see why that desire would be bolstered.

Part of my dream also included having my book look like a Terry Brooks book. Well, that time has come. I am going to self-publish my fantasy novel, The Dark Thorn, as an eBook and hardcover in the coming weeks and months respectively. But an aspect of how Terry’s books look has changed over the years—two different fonts used—and I’m torn between them. In short, I need your help.

Terry’s Shannara hardcovers for Heritage, Voyage, and High Druid in the United States have featured a font named Weiss. I’ve loved this font since The Scions of Shannara was first published. It’s one many of you will know just looking at it.

The second font is named Berling, and has been used on Terry’s more recent novels like The Measure of the Magic. It also has a quality, like Weiss, that I love.

Click each image to view larger:


PDF A – Weiss

PDF B – Berling

They are different though. And as I said, I’m torn between which font I should use in The Dark Thorn.

So I thought I’d put it up for a vote and get some feedback from you guys. You all know what you want from a book. Many of you may even read The Dark Thorn when it is published and will want the best font for your eyes anyway.

Looking forward to what you all have to say!


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29 responses to “Poll: What Font Do You Like?”

  1. I think they both kinda look the same, but Berling seems the way to go, plus it looks like it’ll make the book have more pages. Wasn’t Berling the font used in the last few books?

  2. Weiss is bolder and thus easier on the eyes, and it seems to make the text leap off the page. By comparison, Berling seems duller and flatter, and less likely to motivate me to keep reading.

  3. Shawn,

    I like the Berling. In fact, adjusting the leading down a hair might improve the readability between lines. And when I say a hair, I mean a hair. Admittedly, I have no idea what standard leading is in the publishing world. Of the two, I think Berling makes for the better read, but Weiss has some good strengths. I think Weiss likely will do better with the advent of new reading media and the movement away from the more traditional serif fonts. I ended up voting for Berling, but – truth be told – I’m keen to either typeface. Can’t wait ’til it’s published.

  4. Wow. I tried to turn the page to continue reading then remembered I just had to vote for the font. This is going to be amazing and I look forward to buying.

    As for the font I voted for? Weiss is the best by far.

  5. Oh my gosh. what to pick. I see why this author is torn between which font to use. That is a tough choice. I like both for different reasons. But I think Weiss should be the first choice because of its simplicity, IMHO. Especially if it is your first book…

    Shawn, may you do well on your first book. Who knows, it may achieve the same status as some of Terry’s early books…

  6. While Weiss is a little easier to read Berling is definitely more elegant. One solution would be to up the type size by 1/2 a point and maybe play with the tracking & kerning a bit.

  7. I prefer Berling because it’s different than the font used in Terry’s books. Of course, I prefer the font used in old Shannara trade paperbacks from the 80s. In any case, I don’t care if it’s written in Crayon, I’m reading it when it’s available. Trying to decide which e-reader to buy now.

  8. “I like the Weiss better because it is bolder and darker, more pleasing to the eye.”
    I agree, so my vote goes to Weiss.
    It’s not much of a difference, though, so Berling wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

  9. Does self-publishing as an eBook mean you won’t be releasing it as a hardcover in the future though? I don’t mind eBooks and with some titles I have both. I really want this book in hardcover so I hope it will still get picked up by a publisher and that having it as an eBook will not hinder that.

  10. Weiss. Because legibility is better. Because the “look and feel” of Weiss relative to Berling is more appropriate for the content being conveyed. Because there is a stronger visual rhythm to Weiss that would not be improved by adjusting tracking, kerning, or leading of Berling. There is a personality of darkness to Weiss, where Berling is more dainty. Of the two, Weiss wins my vote.

  11. For those of us who have been reading Terry’s books from the beginning and with eyesight that is slowly fading, Weiss is the choice. Looking forward to a good read. “Good Luck” with the book and Godspeed.

  12. To me they look the same, the only difference I see is that Weiss is bolder and Berling has more space between lines. If possiable go with the best of both, the boldness of Weiss and the spacing of Berling. (having it all Weiss makes the page look a little crowded, and Berling might make it difficult for older readers to read).

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